Kauai News

Long Beach State sophomore shoots 61 to break tournament record at Hōkūala on Kauaʻi

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University of Hawaiʻi’s Atsuya Oishi tees off at hole No. 6 at the Ocean Course at Hōkuala during the John A. Burns Intercollegiate tournament on Feb. 16, 2023. Photo Credit: Ocean Course at Hōkūala

As the wind started getting rough and stray golf balls were tossed, if not for the courage of Ian Gilligan, his new John A. Burns Intercollegiate scoring record may have been lost.

The Long Beach State sophomore’s fateful trip around the Ocean Course at Hōkūala on Kauaʻi featured nine birdies, two eagles and two bogies en route to an 11-under 61.

Gilligan broke the tournament record of 8-under 64 set last year in Līhuʻe by Sam Bennett, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and current Texas A&M fifth-year senior.

“Ian Gilligan’s record-breaking day added an exciting new chapter to our event’s 46-year history,” said Scott Simpson, University of Hawai‘i Head Men’s Golf Coach. “Though lift, clean and place was in play, that should not detract from his special accomplishment.”


Gilligan’s perseverance on the course was shaped by his childhood battle with cancer. The 2022 Big West Freshman of the Year was diagnosed with lymphoma kinase (ALK)-negative large cell lymphoma at age 15. Gilligan battled the disease throughout high school before eventually becoming cancer-free.

In what amounted to much longer than a three-hour tour, coaches voted to play as many holes as possible on Thursday ahead of Friday’s pending thunderstorms that were forecast for Kaua’i. Most players now have now completed 27 holes in the 54-hole championship.

Nine individuals are within four shots of Gilligan, anchored by three Brigham Young University Cougars and two Arizona Wildcats. The top University of Hawaiʻi golfer is Atsuya Oishi, who is 4-under and tied for 19th at about the halfway mark of the tournament.

In the team competition, BYU is in the lead, anchored by solid play from Hawaiian-born Keanu Akina (-9), senior David Timmins (-8) and junior Max Brenchley (-7).


Arizona is one shot back at -22. The Wildcats are three-time Burns champions (1992, 2003, 2004) and the runner-up finisher in 2022. Defending team champions New Mexico (-14), UTEP (-12) and Texas A&M (-11) round out the top five. The University of Hawaiʻi was at the back of the field at three-over, tied for 18th.

“Bob Takano, the former Hawai‘i Men’s Golf Coach who facilitated the first Burns Intercollegiate in 1977, would be thrilled to see new records still being made today,” said Tom Freestone, PGA Director of Golf at the course. “This year’s event is dedicated to honoring Mr. Takano.” 

A group of men playing golf

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Round two on Friday will resume at 8:30 a.m. Walking spectators can attend for free.


A full list of scores can be found at Golfstat.

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