Ting defends crown

SPRECKELSVILLE – Desiree Ting is a long hitter who was able to put some serious distance between herself and the rest of the field during the Jim Sanders Maui Women’s Golf Championship on Saturday at Maui Country Club.

Ting shot a 71 to repeat as the champion, winning by seven strokes.

“I had a pretty steady round today,” she said. “I had a lot of pars and my putting was really good today.”

Ting ran off three consecutive birdies starting with her eighth hole, and added another at the 15th on the nine-hole course. She bogeyed the first, 12th and 18th.

“I could feel the putts I had more confidence trying to get them in the hole,” she said of her three-birdie stretch.

Ting, who won last year’s tournament by two strokes, was outdriving the four other players in her group by at least 15 yards.

“Length definitely helps anywhere,” she said.

Bobbi Kokx and Mia Hew each shot 78, Lisa Judge carded a 79 and Tricia Shoemaker had an 82.

“My putting was so bad because these greens are so fast. My putting was not good today,” Hew said.

Ting’s final birdie, which came on the par-5 sixth hole, came after she hit into a bunker to the right of the green. She blasted out to 15 feet and sank the putt.

“Not bad,” Ting said of her short game. “I hope to have it better by the time some of us are going to play in the Jennie K. Wilson in May.”

Kokx rallied from a rough start, shooting 35 over her final nine holes.

“I had a string of bogeys. I turned at 43, which put my back up against the wall,” Kokx said.

* Kyle Sakamoto is at ksakamoto@mauinews.com