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Windward // Windward Oahu Sports

Lady Knight Focuses On Golf’s Mental Game This Summer

Iris Kawada’s gift for concentration always shows itself on the golf course, whether she’s just enjoying a round or participating in a tournament. On that note, the Castle senior-to-be is perfectly content without the pressures of competition.

“Sometimes it gets stressful — I don’t like playing tournaments as much as I like playing recreationally,” she admitted.

Even so, Kawada thrives in the competitive atmosphere and recently completed a stellar season at Castle. She finished the OIA individual championships in a tie with Mililani’s Mari Nishiura for the title (Nishiura won an individual playoff between them). In late April, Kawada finished fourth at the state golf championships at Turtle Bay, where she was the highest finisher among OIA golfers.

She currently is golfing six days a week and sees herself continuing to play long past her high school and college years.

“I want to be able to play golf when I’m, like, 80 years old,” said Kawada, who was named an OIA East Conference All-Star in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.

She recently took some time away from the golf course to visit with MidWeek‘s Windward Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? When I was 8, I qualified for the Junior World (golf tournament) and I went up to California for the first time. I got to experience a tournament and realized how good the other players were from around the United States. I was really humbled. I didn’t make the cut, but that was OK.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My uncle (Dennis Kawada). When I was younger, my dad worked a lot and my uncle always took me to golf (practices). He would teach me, and I’ve learned most of what I’ve learned from him.

What area of your game will you focus on during the prep off-season? My mental game. I think I have to embed my swing into my brain so I don’t have to think about it.

When did you know golf was THE sport for you? When I was in elementary school, I tried some other sports and I realized I was not coordinated at all. I thought I’d stick with golf and try my best.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? YouTube — probably (for) the gaming sites.

What is your least favorite household chore? Washing the dishes.

What movie could you watch over and over? That’s a difficult one. I watch The Greatest Game Ever Played every year. It’s a tradition.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? I like Two-Door Cinema Club; I like Phillip Phillips and Owl City.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? I do homework.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I want to be working with computers.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Sushi from 7-Eleven.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Professional golfer) Lydia Ho. People say I look like her.

jackster.1969@yahoo.com

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