Niall Shiels Donegan wins Hawaii State Amateur
14 Mar 2022
by Jim Young of

see also: View results for Hawaii State Amateur, Leilehua Golf Course, Niall Shiels-Donegan Rankings

Niall Shiels Donegan
Niall Shiels Donegan

Niall Shiels Donegan, a junior at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, Calif., won the Hawaii State Amateur on Sunday at Leilehua Golf Course in Wahiawa.

Donegan carded rounds of 67-74-71-70 to finish at 6-under for the event, earning a seven-stroke victory over Dane Watanabe and Jordan Sato, who tied for second at 1-over. Donegan was the only player in the field to finish in red numbers.

Donegan's opening round 67, which included an ace on Leilehua's par-4, 310-yard eighth hole, which was his 17th of the day, helped him build a three-stroke lead after the first round. His lead was cut to two after a second-round 74 but rounds of 71-70 over the weekend secured his wire-to-wire victory.

The hole-in-one was Donegan's first ace in a competitive round.

"It was a dogleg left and I hit a draw over a tree at the corner," said Donegan. "I actually hit into the group in front of me and they said the ball rolled around the slope of the green and went in the hole at a perfect speed."

A member of the Scottish 16-U National Team, Donegan's game has been on the rise since last summer, when he reached the semifinals of the R&A Boys' Amateur at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal, England. He also reached the final 16 of the Scottish Amateur Championship and had strong showings at the St. Andrews Boys Open (9th), Scottish Boys U-16 (6th) and the Scottish Boys' Amateur Championship (13th).

Although he admits his time in the UK last summer did wonders for his game and confidence, Donegan points to his missed cut at the South Beach Amateur in Miami just prior to Christmas as a much-needed reality check.

"I came back from the UK and I was feeling pretty good about myself and my game," said the Northwestern commit. "Then I missed the cut at South Beach and finished second to last. That really brought me back to reality and I started working harder than ever." His morning routine includes waking at 4:00 a.m. to putt on the upstairs carpet in his house before heading to Mill Valley Golf Course to work on a variety of shots. Then it's off to school.

Don't look for Donegan on the AJGA circuit this summer -- he plans to return to the UK to play a similar schedule as last year when he advanced to the semifinals of the R&A Amateur.

"My goal is to represent Scotland in the Home Internationals in August."

Results: Hawaii State Amateur
1CANiall Shiels-DoneganMill Valley, CA20067-74-71-70=282
T2HIDane WatanabeKaneohe, HI10073-70-70-76=289
T2HIJordan SatoHonolulu, HI10071-73-70-75=289
T4HIJosh HayashidaMililani, HI5072-71-76-71=290
T4HIAnson CabelloKahului, HI5074-70-74-72=290

View full results for Hawaii State Amateur

ABOUT THE Hawaii State Amateur

72-hole stroke play championship, with Men's Open, Men's Mid-Amateur, and Women's Open divisions. Golfers are required to be a member of the Hawaii State Golf Association and a USGA Licensed Club.

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