Moanalua sweeps OIA
• Photo gallery: OIA golf championships
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Moanalua High School freshman Eimi Koga tied for first place Sunday in the 13/14-year-old division of her Hawai'i Junior Golf Association tournament at Mililani Golf Club.
Yesterday, she won again on a much bigger stage — the O'ahu Interscholastic Association championships at Navy Marine Golf Course.
"This is very special," said Koga, who shot a 2-over-par 74 in yesterday's second round, after a first-round, 5-over 77 in last week's first round at Leilehua Golf Course. "Now I have to try and keep it up the next three years."
Yesterday was good preparation for any future title defenses, as Koga needed a strong finish over the final three holes to overtake first-round leader Maryssa Shigesato of Mililani and win by one stroke. She splashed into a water hazard on the par-3 15th hole and trailed Shigesato by three strokes after saving bogey.
But Koga quickly closed the margin to one stroke on 16, after draining a 15-foot downhill birdie putt with Shigesato missing her 6-foot putt for par. Koga then pulled into a tie for the lead on 17 as she made par and Shigesato bogeyed again.
"I thought, 'Wow, maybe I have a chance,' " Koga said.
She cashed in with another two-putt for par from 30 feet out on 18, as Shigesato three-putted for bogey.
Koga said last week's opening round was her first time playing Leilehua, but she felt good about her chances at Navy Marine.
"It's long, but I've played here before," she said. "I feel more comfortable here."
Moanalua also won the girls team championship.
In the boys competition, Moanalua junior Tyler Ota retained his title with an even-par 72—144. He began the day tied with 'Aiea's Ryan Kuroiwa and Campbell's Rudy Cabalar, but established a two-stroke lead after the front nine and pushed it to three strokes after a birdie on 11.
The lead shrank on 17, which Ota double-bogeyed after hooking his tee shot way left and then flubbing his chip shot. Making matters worse, he injured his shoulder when his club hit a root on his second swing.
"I was just hoping I wouldn't hit it into the bunker to the left (on 18) or o.b. to the right," Ota said.
He landed on the fairway, then just missed the green to the right on his approach shot from 137 yards. Ota then softly rolled a chip shot to tap-in range to save par and beat Kuroiwa by two strokes.
Moanalua also won the boys team championship, completing a clean sweep for Nā Menehune.
1. Tyler Ota (Moanalua) 72-72—144; 2. Ryan Kuroiwa ('Aiea) 72-74—146; 3. David Saka (Mililani) 75-74—149; 4. Jefferson Yee (Moanalua) 77-72—149; 5. Christian Agosto (Moanalua) 77-73—150; 6. Jae Maeng (Moanalua) 77-73—150; 7. Jonah Fonacier (Mililani) 77-73—150; 8. Wen Hao Luo (McKinley) 77-73—150; 9. Oliver Lam (McKinley) 75-76—151; 10. Jay Oshito ('Aiea) 78-73—151; 11. Rudy Cabalar (Campbell) 72-79—151; 12. Nicholas Matsushima (Kalani) 79-74—153; 13. Joshua DeFreitas (Nānākuli) 78-77—155; 14. Blaine Fujimoto (Castle) 84-73—157; 15. Mark Ito ('Aiea) 78-82—160.
1. Eimi Koga (Moanalua) 77-74—151; 2. Maryssa Shigesato (Mililani) 75-77—152; 3. Sydney Maluenda (Kapolei) 77-78—155; 4. Loreece Magsanide (Campbell) 81-79—160; 5. Celine Haole ('Aiea) 84-78—162; 6. Monique Ishikawa (Kalāheo) 85-79—164; 7. Kristen Sawada (Mililani) 81-85—166; 8. Christine Kobashikawa (Moanalua) 85-82—167; 9. Elizabeth Shishido (Moanalua) 85-82—167; 10. Ashley Yuen (Moanalua) 86-84—170; 11. Samantha Balboa (Pearl City) 84-87—171; 12. Amber Bunch (Leilehua) 93-90—183; 13. Vanessa Tagama (Campbell) 91-93—184; 14. Liana Hamada (Roosevelt) 94-93—187; 15. Catherine Kim (Kalani) 88-99—187.