Mililani’s Sawada set for the week­end.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SONY OPEN IN HAWAII - By Ja­son Kaneshiro jkaneshiro@starad­ver­tiser.com

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.

DEN­NIS ODA / DODA@STARAD­VER­TISER.COM

Jared Sawada of Mililani will play on the week­end at the Sony Open in Hawaii.

DEN­NIS ODA / DODA@STARAD­VER­TISER.COM

Pu­na­hou grad­u­ate Parker McLach­lin lined up a putt on Thurs­day be­fore miss­ing the cut on Fri­day.

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