Garcia’s integrity the highlight of the day

LIHU’E — With the KIF golf titles all but wrapped up in red and white, Kaua’i High School’s Mike Garcia displayed the true spirit of the game of golf yesterday at the Puakea Golf Course.

On the par three 16th hole, Garcia grounded his club in the sand, without anyone watching, but instead of forgetting about the two-stroke mistake, he gladly accepted the penalty.

“It’s not so much the score that matters, it’s just morals and you gotta obey the rules,” Garcia said.

Instead of finishing up with an even-par 72, Garcia gulped up the penalty for a final score of 2-over-par 74.

“It was a careless mistake. I was just too involved in making the shot, but you don’t want to win like that, it’s just not right,” Garcia said.

But this wasn’t his first act of being true to himself and the game itself.

“In three other occasions when I was younger, I had to take the penalties. I learned from my parents about morals and from junior golf as well,” Garcia said.

The Red Raiders ran away with first place once again, with a 311 total, thanks in part to Garcia (74), Chad Nonaka (74), Cory Oride (80), Nikko Tacsiat (83), Kellen Watabu (84), Wiley Yoshioka (80), Byron Rualizo (83), Micah Yoshioka (89), Dane Kua (91), Kyle Furusho (88), and Allen Koerte (96).

Waimea climbed back into second place after finishing up in third place last Saturday, following Kapa’a.

The Menehune tallied a score of 358, with Grant Paiste (85), Noel Torres (87), Ryan Gusman (92), Markland Soliva (94), and Thad Fuji (97).

Kapa’a dropped to third-place yesterday, with top scores from Travis Toguchi (80), Jet Levinthol (83), Bronzen Winters (97), Bubby Saiki (94), and Anderson Dreisch (101). Kula’s Sean Ogawa carded a 74.

On the girls side, Kaua’i scored a 273, with top rounds from Miki Ueoka (79), Rae-Lyn Morikawa (95), Kristi Rapozo (99), and Angel Miyake (120).

Kapa’a’s Malia Saiki posted a 92 and Waimea’s Leslyn Ibara finished up with a 115. More scores can be found in the scoreboard on page B2.

KIF golf swings its way to the Kaua’i Lagoons Mokihana Golf Course on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

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