Back-to-back for Chiarella

Seabury Hall grad finishes strong to win second straight Maui Open

Alex Chiarella watches his tee shot on the 15th hole during the Maui Open at The Dunes at Maui Lani on Sunday. Chiarella won his third Maui Open title and second straight with a 1-under-par 143 after posting a 72 on Saturday. The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photos

KAHULUI — Alex Chiarella watched Sam Cyr growing up as a young golfer on Maui.

Playing together for the last two days in the Maui Open at The Dunes at Maui Lani, the pair of professionals gained a new-found respect for each other.

The 24-year-old Chiarella battled past his 32-year-old role model to claim his third Maui Open crown. Chiarella shot 1-under-par 71 to finish at 1-under 143 for the tournament, four shots clear of Cyr and Jake Grodzinsky, who tied for second.

It is the third Maui Open title for Chiarella, to go along with crowns in 2012 and last year.

“It’s definitely special,” Chiarella said. “Grew up playing this course, so it’s nice to win the Maui Open.”

Jake Grodzinsky watches his tee shot on No. 15 on his way to tying for second place Sunday.

In gusty conditions, Chiarella’s score this year fell right in-between the 6-under 138 he shot as a recent Seabury Hall graduate and the 5-over 149 he shot last year.

“I had a really steady round, only made one bogey, it came on 17,” Chiarella said. “I was bogey-free up until then. I birdied No. 5 and birdied No. 12. It was just making a bunch of pars, which is really good out here.

“It’s really tough in this wind, but it’s like this every time I play here, so I kind of know what to expect, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I was talking to a lot of the other players in the tournament and it’s funny that we all think the course has gotten harder over the years.”

As he waited to accept the trophy and his $5,000 winner’s check, the University of San Diego graduate was anticipating an email to find out if he would be in the next two McKenzie Tour events in Canada where he has conditional status.

“I might have to leave tomorrow,” Chiarella said with a smile. “The five grand doesn’t hurt, especially when I’m about to travel to another country.”

Like Cyr, a veteran of the Asian Tour and a 12-time winner in college at Point Loma Nazarene University, the PGA Tour is the ultimate goal.

“One step at a time, looking forward to the future,” said Chiarella, who qualified for the McKenzie Tour in March and finished in a tie for 26th in his one appearance there so far.

The younger player has learned from Cyr, the 2010 Maui Open champion who won the Mid-Pacific Open on Oahu in April.

“I just played with Sam yesterday and today, so we got 36 holes together — we had a good time,” Chiarella said. “He definitely paved the way for the rest of the Maui guys who are trying to make it on the tour. Seeing guys like that when I was growing up who played well in college and after college, it gives us some hope, too.”

Cyr said he is “about 80 percent” health-wise as he continues to recover from an immune deficiency that he believes he got from eating unfamiliar food while in Asia.

Cyr managed a 75 on Sunday that included a quadruple-bogey 8 on the fifth hole. His father Kevin rode in the golf cart and caddied a bit for the final group on Sunday.

Cyr said he will play state opens in Utah and Nebraska in the next couple months, but he has to stay near his doctors as he continues to recover. He is back to 142 pounds after falling from his normal 156 to 132 during his illness.

“It’s awesome,” Cyr said when told about Chiarella’s knowledge of his career. “Alex was awesome this week. He played well, great kid. I haven’t really got to know him that well because he’s younger than me. I got to play with him the last two days and he’s really good.

“It’s encouraging. You try to set a good example, so it’s encouraging that he does look up to me and stuff. I hope he kills it — I hope he does really well. … I know his future is bright. I’m definitely rooting for him.”

First-round leader Chris Shimomura closed with a 79 to finish alone in fourth place at 5-over 149.

Grodzinsky is the Seabury Hall coach for boys and girls — he coached Chiarella for one year with the Spartans and served as his caddy last year in the Maui Open. Grodzinsky and Cyr each won $2,250.

Grodzinsky said Chiarella often comes to Seabury Hall practice to play with the current Spartans.

“Very impressive, he’s just a great player — he always has been,” Grodzinsky said of Chiarella. “Crazy talent — it’s good to see him finish it off today. I kind of knew he would. He’s great on this course and he’s just a great player.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Maui Open

Sunday’s Final Round

At The Dunes at Maui Lani

Championship Flight

Alex Chiarella 72-71–143 -1

Jake Grodzinsky 74-73–147 +3

Samuel Cyr 72-75–147 +3

Chris Shimomura 70-79–149 +5

Juan Rodriguez 74-77–151 +7

Stephen Zane 80-72–152 +8

Hayden Williamson 77-78–155 +11

Justin Ngan 76-79–155 +11

Johnathan Galarita 77-80–157 +13

Justin Arcano 77-80–157 +13

Kyle Hayashi 77-80–157 +13

Kevin Shimomura 79-80–159 +15

Corey Kozuma 77-83–160 +16

Ryan Acosta 77-83–160 +16

Tim Patrizio 78-82–160 +16

Darren Jones 78-83–161 +17

Paul Ito 83-80–163 +19

Ryan Cancino 82-81–163 +19

Andre Bedard 80-84–164 +20

Chris Keiter 81-83–164 +20

Marcus Judge 75-89–164 +20

Travis Deckert 84-81–165 +21

Kelii Dias 79-87–166 +22

Robert Greanleaf 79-87–166 +22

Alex Omer 80-87–167 +23

Pierce Dowd 79-88–167 +23

Adam Quandt 86-82–168 +24

Justin Newsome 84-84–168 +24

Bryce Iwasaki 85-84–169 +25

Christopher Calibuso 84-85–169 +25

Zane Jarrett 80-89–169 +25

Eliot Gouveia 85-85–170 +26

Brian Robertson 82-89–171 +27

Ben Smith 84-88–172 +28

Jun Jose 84-88–172 +28

Miguel Dominguez 87-86–173 +29

Caitlyn Villatora 91-87–178 +34

Kirsten Ishikawa 90-88–178 +34

Ryan Nagoshi 90-90–180 +36

Alex Cabello 94-91–185 +41

Jay Brown 91-95–186 +42

Trevor Jones 95-93–188 +44

Jeremy Taraya 94-97–191 +47

Jason Finegan 93-99–192 +48

James Triche 97-98–195 +51

Senior Flight

Mark Keith 75-77–152 +8

Eddie Lee 76-78–154 +10

Nelson Domingo 79-75–154 +10

Mark Chun 74-84–158 +14

Mike Rich 74-84–158 +14

David Goode 79-80–159 +15

Rohn Stark 80-81–161 +17

Lee Sakugawa 81-81–162 +18

Wade Latham 80-82–162 +18

Ben Thomas 79-85–164 +20

Eric Molina 83-83–166 +22

Mark Shimamura 83-83–166 +22

Brooks Beesley 84-85–169 +25

Marc Stevens 86-83–169 +25

Kurt Otake 86-85–171 +27

Shawn Bedard 84-87–171 +27

Ryan McNally 86-86–172 +28

Terry Davis 90-82–172 +28

Clive Kegel 87-86–173 +29

Glean Ruidas 86-88–174 +30

Jon Yokouchi 88-88–176 +32

Milton Holmes 92-84–176 +32

Joseph Delaginte Jr. 81-98–179 +35

Kaulana Kalama 87-92–179 +35

Bradley Bowen 92-90–182 +38

Dennis Sasai 97-89–186 +42

Edward Lawson 91-101–192 +48

Super Senior Flight

Dean Prince 74-75–149 +5

Raymond Tendo 75-80–155 +11

Keith Anderson 77-83–160 +16

Lloyd Komoda 77-83–160 +16

Alan Grodzinsky 83-78–161 +17

J.B. Bryant 76-85–161 +17

Phillip Anamizu 77-84–161 +17

Doug Stacy 81-81–162 +18

Clif Council 83-83–166 +22

Edward Schafer 81-85–166 +22

Malama Chun 82-90–172 +28

Delafield Kribben 86-91–177 +33

John Mills 87-92–179 +35

Wendell Reinking 93-86–179 +35

Dickie Moon 89-101–190 +46

A Flight (net)

Gregg Wada 66-76–142 -2

Brian Inouye 72-75–147 +3

Ben Cafferio 73-77–150 +6

Patrick Hashimura 75-79–154 +10

George Reinhardt 77-78–155 +11

Glenn Ono 72-84–156 +12

Kelly McCaffrey 83-75–158 +14

Guy Nishimura 77-82–159 +15

Ian Chapital 81-78–159 +15

Jimmy Durham 74-86–160 +16

Anson Cabello 88-75–163 +19

Bryon Sattler 81-84–165 +21

Wes DeCoite 83-82–165 +21

Seven Birks 85-81–166 +22

Eddie Niemeyer 87-81–168 +24

Mario Chajon 85-83–168 +24

Bill McConkey 88-81–169 +25

Michael Jerhoff 83-87–170 +26

Glen Eastman 89-82–171 +27

Maxwell Han 89-82–171 +27

Josh Jerman 88-88–176 +32

Alfred Layer 96-82–178 +34

John Conners 93-90–183 +39

Edward Spencer 101-85–186 +42

Kevin Cole 97-89–186 +42

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