Open slots battle to be settled at Wailua

PO‘IPU — It’s not over, yet!

Kaua‘i golfers Nikko Tacsiat (38-35) and Wiley Yoshioka (34-39) shot the best round at 73 yesterday, but both golfers have already qualified for the state tournament by virtue of Kaua‘i taking the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation golf title last week.

What is up for grabs is the three open slots for the boys and the slots for the girls.

“Miki (Ueoka) won’t be going since she’s doing testing,” said Kapa‘a coach Gary Saiki. “That means the two Kaua‘i girls — Rae-lyn Morikawa and Kristie Rapozo, Gabrielle Saiki from Kapa‘a, and Leslyn Ibara from Waimea will probably be making the trip as individualists.”

Morikawa beat out Ueoka during yesterday’s qualifying round at the Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course, shooting an 81 (39-42) over Ueoka’s 83 (40-43). Following the leaders, Gabrielle finished at 89 (47-42), Rapozo ended at 100 (51-44), and Ibara came in at 103 (51-52).

For the boys, it’s a scramble to see who gets the three open slots as Kapa‘a’s leader, Bronzen Winters, opted to wear a blue shirt instead of the Warrior uniform and finished at 75 (37-38) to set the pace.

That score was matched by Kaua‘i’s Cory Oride (37-38) who already qualified as one of the Raider team shooters.

Following Winters, Waimea’s Noel Torres finished at 77 (37-40).

Maika‘i Laureta (38-41) of Kapa‘a, and Waimea’s Grant Paiste (37-42) carded 79 each to round out the leaders following the opening round.

Kaua‘i’s Taylor Bel is still in the chase at 80 (41-39). Kapa‘a’s Travis Toguchi flinched at No. 2 when his short putt lipped the hole.

He finished at 82 (42-40) along with fellow golfer Jet Levinthol (40-42), and Kula School’s Cyrus Ogawa (37-45). What follows is a crowd at 86 including Kapa‘a’s Kevin Wataya (43-43), Kaua‘i’s Allen Koerte (43-43), and Waimea’s Markland Soliva (44-42).

The three open slots won’t be finalized until next week’s qualifying round is played at the Wailua Golf Course as the determining factor is the combined scores of this week’s and next week’s games.

The first group tees off 12:06 at Wailua.

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