Duffy wins third Okinawa golf title
Matthew C. Perry's Gaku Lange and Zama teammates Ben Cook and Logan Perera chase the ball during Friday's semifinal match in the DODDS Japan boys high school soccer tournament at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Perry dethroned defending champion Zama 7-1.
This article has been corrected.
GUSHIKAWA, Okinawa – He’ll take the win, his third district golf title. But Matthew Duffy said he was far from pleased with his performance Friday.
“I guess I’m happy about winning. I’m just not satisfied with my game,” the Kubasaki senior said after he carded a 95 on the 6,046-yard, par-72 Taiyo Golf Course links.
Coupled with the 87 he shot two days earlier at Kadena Air Base’s Banyan Tree links, Duffy finished the championships with a 182, 25 strokes better than his nearest challenger, teammate Eric Heck.
It was Duffy’s third straight individual crown and Kubasaki’s third straight team title since Kadena’s lengthy run of championships ended in 2011.
Of his three titles, Duffy says he most valued the first, in his sophomore year, when he was starting to develop his game and Kadena was more competitive. “So, I actually enjoyed the game more,” he said.
Duffy, younger brother of former Far East Baseball Tournament MVP Patrick Duffy, now turns his attention to college; he plans to attend university in mainland Japan and continue playing golf “as a hobby.”
“It was a good four years,” Duffy said of his Kubasaki golf career.
Favorites reach boys soccer finals
Each pair of teams split their season series. Now in the finals of their respective boys soccer tournaments, Seoul American and Seoul Foreign in Korea and Nile C. Kinnick and Matthew C. Perry in Japan will duel Saturday for bragging rights.
Andrew Clark’s goal and two assists helped the Falcons past Yongsan International-Seoul 5-1 to reach Saturday’s Korean-American Interscholastic Activities Conference Blue Division final. The Crusaders beat host Taejon Christian International 3-1 in the other semifinal.
“We’re sitting where we want to be,” Falcons coach Steve Boyd said. “We took care of business the way we wanted to and came out of it unscathed, no injuries, no red cards, none of that stuff. We’ll be at full power tomorrow against Seoul Foreign.” Kickoff is at 3 p.m.
At Yokota Air Base, DODDS Japan’s biggest rivalry resumes at 12:30 p.m. when the pre-tournament favorite Samurai, with Pacific goal-scoring leader Gaku Lange (32), taking on the defense-minded Red Devils.
“Maybe we’ll decide this once and for all,” Kinnick coach Robert Tiffany said of a rivalry that has blossomed since Perry started winning Far East Division II Tournaments consistently five years ago.
Lange was involved in every goal when the Samurai dethroned defending champion Zama 7-1, scoring three times and assisting on the other four.
"I’m on a mission to win Far East again,” Lange said. “Fourth star for us.”
“When he wants to play, his eyes light up,” Lange’s father and coach, Mark Lange, said. “He’s very determined, wanting to play; they couldn’t stop him. And he missed a few. Senior year; he wants to go out strong.”
Branden Yoder had the lone goal as Kinnick blanked Yokota 1-0 in the other semifinal.
Kinnick is also the front-runner in the girls tournament; if both Red Devils teams win their respective titles, that would make it a clean sweep of all the DODDS Japan spring sports tournaments.
While dominating most opponents, the Red Devils had their toughest go Friday against Yokota. And coach Nico Hindie isn’t taking a thing for granted on Saturday when Kinnick faces Zama and Edgren.
“They have some nice players, a nice team,” he said.
Some events that did not happen also made news this weekend:
Seoul American at Osan baseball and softball on Friday was postponed due to air quality issues. They’re looking to reschedule for Wednesday, Osan athletics director Linda Concepcion said by e-mail.
The Okinawa track and field meet called off midway due to rain and unsafe track conditions will not be completed, Kubasaki coach Jon Fick said, citing “multiple conflicts” in participating schools’ schedules.
And Zama’s baseball and softball trip to Perry was scrapped due to transportation problems, Trojans softball coach Adele Collins said by e-mail.
Stars and Stripes reporter James Kimber contributed to this report.
Kubasaki's Eric Heck's second-place finish in the Okinawa golf finals was ommited in an earlier version of this article.