Mililani’s Sawada set for the weekend.
Jared Sawada’s role as a teacher reinforced some valuable lessons.
Sawada’s weekly schedule includes giving golf lessons. He found providing instruction helpful when honing his own game.
“It’s a good reminder to yourself. I see my students and I’m like, ‘You have to do this,’ and then I hit balls and it’s, ‘Oh wow, that’s working for me,’” Sawada said. “I’m getting paid to teach myself, kind of.”
Sawada’s personal progress has him in position to earn his largest payday after making the cut in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Sawada, a Mililani and University of Hawaii graduate, followed up an opening-round 68 with a bogey-free 4-under 66 on Friday to advance to the weekend at 6 under for the tournament.
“Making the cut is a dream come true. It’s unbelievable,” said Sawada, who will start today’s play tied for 34th.
Sawada missed the cut in his Sony debut with rounds of 78 and 72 in 2014 shortly before turning pro. He qualified for this week’s field on Monday at Hoakalei and stayed in red numbers throughout the first two rounds.
He began his round Friday morning by holing out for eagle from 63 yards out on the par-4 10th hole.
“I tried to land it on the front and hit the hill and get it to 10 feet or whatever and it went straight in,” Sawada said.
He added a birdie on No. 16, then made his way around the rest of Waialae Country Club with pars until closing with birdie on the par-5 ninth.
Sawada said he worked with his caddie, Loi Chang-Stroman, since April and credited practice sessions at Mid-Pacific Country Club and Leilehua Golf Course for sharpening his game.
He fits practice into a schedule that includes working as a sales manager at ATM Pacific three days a week as well as his golf lessons, including working with the junior golf program at Oahu Country Club.
“Before, when I first turned pro, it was just straight golf,” Sawada said, “and then I learned about balance and it’s just wonderful where I am now.”
Still, professional golf beckons, and Sawada hopes to qualify for the PGA Tour Canada or China later this year and his first PGA Tour weekend is a step in his progression.
“It helps me believe in myself a little more knowing I can do it,” Sawada said. “Gives me a lot of confidence. Confidence is the main thing in this game.”
Punahou graduate Parker McLachlin, who started at 1 over, made a late run at joining Sawada on the weekend but fell short. He got to 2 under with three holes to play before a bogey on 16. He then drained a 38-foot birdie putt on 17, and settled for par on the 18 to finish the day with a 3-under 67 and 2 under for the tournament.
Moanalua graduate John Oda followed up an evenpar opening round with 1-under 69 before heading back to UNLV early next week for the spring semester.
Brent Grant, Oda’s teammate at Moanalua, was 3 under, right on the cut line, after a birdie on No. 10. He dropped back to even par with a double bogey on the par-3 11th and another bogey on 12.
Tadd Fujikawa posted a second straight round of 73 to end his return appearance at Waialae at 6 over, one shot ahead of Sony Open veteran Kevin Hayashi.
Jared Sawada of Mililani will play on the weekend at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Punahou graduate Parker McLachlin lined up a putt on Thursday before missing the cut on Friday.