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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 5, 2006

Kim, Fujikawa are 'OK' as co-champs

By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer

A day after learning they would share the O'ahu Interscholastic Association's boys golf championship, Kaimuki sophomore Chan Kim and Moanalua freshman Tadd Fujikawa said they were satisfied with the outcome despite an OIA error that cost them a chance to win it outright.

Each shot a 3-under 69 at Turtle Bay's Fazio Course on Tuesday and finished the two-day tournament tied for first place with a score of 139. But OIA officials mistakenly went to the scorecards to break the tie instead of going to a sudden-death playoff as specified in the league handbook. Kim was declared the winner as a result of his birdie on the first hole compared to Fujikawa's par.

But on Wednesday, Moanalua athletic director Joel Kawachi alerted OIA boys golf coordinator Sam Delos Reyes about the following rule found in the OIA handbook:

Section: D

OIA Individual Championships

1) ... In the case of a tie for the Individual Champion, a sudden death play-off among those tied for first place, will be held. If darkness or the elements prevent a sudden death play-off, ties will be broken by comparing match score cards starting with the first hole.

Tuesday's round concluded at about 1:30 p.m. in good weather conditions. After conferring with OIA executive director Dwight Toyama on Wednesday, Delos Reyes announced that a playoff should have happened, but Kim and Fujikawa would instead be declared co-champions.

"Last year we made changes in the wording, and (on Tuesday) we made a wrong interpretation and made the wrong call," Delos Reyes said yesterday. "That's a lesson for us, and hopefully it will never happen again. We just hope we didn't hurt the families who came out there to support their kids."

Yesterday, both Kim and Fujikawa said the situation is "awkward," but they are "OK" with the end result.

"I wish there was a playoff, because I think it would have been fun," said Fujikawa, who is friends with Kim and plays with him often throughout the year. "I think they should have checked the rule book beforehand, but I guess I'm happy (to be co-champ). I'm lucky they found out (about the error)."

On Tuesday, Kim said he "was a bit relieved" it didn't go to a playoff.

"Like I said, anything could have happened (in sudden-death)," Kim said yesterday. "We did shoot the same scores, so I guess it's OK (to be co-champ). But it is kind of awkward ..."

Reach Wes Nakama at wnakama@honoluluadvertiser.com.