Based on recent history, yesterday’s final round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association golf championships spread the wealth. Moanalua still dominated, but did not sweep all four titles as it had the past two years.
Na Menehune basically clinched both team titles in Monday’s first round at Makaha Resort and Golf Club. Yesterday, Moanalua sophomore Eimi Koga won her second straight girls title and Aiea senior Ryan Kuroiwa held off Tyler Ota’s bid to three-peat among the boys. Koga and Kuroiwa were ruthlessly efficient in search of titles, each hitting 15 greens in regulation.
Campbell got in on the action by edging Aiea by a shot (629 to 630) to take second in the boys team race. That was about all that was up for grabs yesterday. Moanalua was consistently overwhelming, shooting team rounds (best four scores) of 289-290 for a 579 total.
Kuroiwa, headed to the University of Hawaii golf team in the fall, closed with a 2-under-par 70. He had four birdies and two bogeys. The last came on the last hole, which made his two-day total 141 and cut his margin of victory to two over Ota, the only Na Menehune senior.
"I just figured if I didn’t double bogey I’d be OK," said Kuroiwa, who had top-five OIA finishes his first three years. "I was pretty nervous down the stretch. …I was hitting the ball good. I had a lot of opportunities out there, but they didn’t all go in. I was just trying to be steady and not press."
Ota’s final-round 69 was the tournament’s low score. Castle senior Blaine Fujimoto and Moanalua freshman John Oda both finished at 70—144 to tie for third.
All five Na Menehune finished in the top eight, with Jefferson Yee (74—146) fifth, Jared Flores (77—148) seventh and Seung Jae Maeng (77—149) eighth.
Campbell junior Rudy Cabalar, who will defend his state title in three weeks at Waikoloa Village, took sixth at 73—147 and Mililani’s Jonah Fonacier (73—149) shared eighth with Maeng.
The Moanalua girls also skated in after bolting to a 44-shot advantage the first day. Their team total (best three scores) was 478, with Mililani (587) the only other team to break 600.
A year ago, Koga parred the final four holes to overtake Maryssa Shigesato. Koga went into the final round this year with a two-shot cushion over Kalaheo’s Monique Ishikawa. At the turn, the gap was five.
Koga had two birdies and a three-putt bogey. The 2010 Junior World Champion (ages13-14) woke early yesterday and went for a relaxing run on the beach before her walk in the Makaha golf park.
"I was really close to the hole a lot today, but my putting didn’t really work well," she said. "Lots of putts within 15 feet. That helped me. I just wanted to not shoot bad today. The same as yesterday or better. … I just didn’t want to fall apart."
Mililani’s Kristen Sawada (78—158) was third and Moanalua’s Elizabeth Shishido (82—162) fourth. Na Menehune also got top-eight finishes from senior Christine Kobashikawa (84—172) and Ashley Yuen (88—176).
The Moanalua girls have now won four consecutive OIA titles and seven of the past 13. In 2006, they became the only OIA team to win a state title. The Moanalua boys have won the past five OIA championships and are legitimate contenders to become the first OIA team to win a state championship since 1980.
"They practice hard. They practice really hard," said Gordon Yuen, who coaches both Na Menehune teams. "The boys have really good focus, and the ability to play. They play all the open tournaments and have a lot of experience. And they all have good composure. The girls, they all really get along good."
The ILH championships end today at Kapolei. Punahou sophomore Kalena Preus leads the boys after shooting 63 on Monday at Oahu Country Club. ‘Iolani’s Marissa Chow and Punahou’s Kacie Komoto share the girls lead at 71.