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4A STATE: Record-setting Kaui leads Gators’ first-day charge to lead

RENO — Green Valley golfer Alex Kaui’s best round ever was a 67 during practice for a tournament last year.
After she nestled an 8-iron to within 8 feet on the 18th hole Monday and nailed the putt, that record was shattered at perhaps the best possible moment.
Kaui carded an 8-under-par 64 to lead by seven strokes in the Class 4A girls state golf tournament at Hidden Valley Country Club.
“Everything was falling,” said Kaui, who had just 25 putts on the round. “I was literally making every putt I had. Even though I was 20 feet away, I’d still make it in.”
Kaui, who won the Sunrise Region tournament last week, broke the single-round state record for score in relation to par. In-Bee Park of Bishop Gorman shot a 6-under 65 in 2004 and Douglas’ Bethany Wooster carded a 6-under 66 in 2008.
The two-round record for a winning score is 6 under, meaning Kaui will own that mark as well if she shoots at least par today.
Kaui’s teammate Jenny Hahn, the defending state champion, shot 71 to help the Gators (298) take a healthy lead over Faith Lutheran (346), which was led by Annie Freman’s 77.
But the day belonged to Kaui, who had nine birdies and one bogey. The sophomore hit 16 greens in regulation, which led to all the birdie tries.
Her best putt came on the 17th hole, where Kaui had a 30-footer from the top shelf of the green to the lower portion. Kaui struck it softly and aimed about 4 feet left, she said, and the ball drained perfectly into the cup.
“Sixty-fours don’t come around that often,” Green Valley coach Greg Murphy said. “That’s a special round any way you put it.”
Kaui birdied four of her first six holes. She hit a wedge on No. 10 to within 2 feet from about 100 yards out.
Kaui hopes to keep the momentum going in Tuesday’s final round.
“I’m just going to try and shoot as low as I did (Monday),” she said.
Arbor View’s Kiley Ballew and Silverado’s Brittany Whatley are tied for third at 74, followed by Freman.
Class 4A State Meet
At Hidden Valley, Reno (par 72)
Team Scores
Green Valley    298
Faith Lutheran    346
Carson    353
Spanish Springs    356
Arbor View    357
Coronado    385
Top 25 Individuals
Alex Kaui, Green Valley    64
Jenny Hahn, Green Valley    71
Brittany Whatley, Silverado    74
Kiley Ballew, Arbor View    74
Annie Freman, Faith Lutheran    77
Tess Jones, Spanish Springs    79
Alyssa Ballew, Arbor View    80
Melanie Chambers, Coronado    80
Sarah Thomas, Green Valley    80
Bethany Wurster, Douglas    81
Christina Kralich, Spanish Springs    81
Whitney Nash, Carson    81
Angie Pitaksarp, Eldorado    82
Brianna Becker, Faith Lutheran    82
Hilary Pauli, Tech    82
Julia Graham, Spring Valley    82
Kelsey Roberts, McQueen    83
Kristen Hsu, Green Valley    83
Allie Arguello, Bishop Gorman    84
Maggie Jones, Bishop Manogue    84
Aspen Bryant, Cimarron    85
Taylor Candley, Canyon Springs    86
Arianna Bryant, Cimarron    88
Denise Wilkerson, Reno    88
Melissa Cayne, Bishop Gorman    89
Olivia Greenwald, Coronado    89

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