Going for the green

POIPU — Mariel Galdiano pushed her fairway shot through the brisk tradewinds, landing within 15 feet of the pin Sunday at the Poipu Bay Golf Course.

The shot drew applause from the gallery and set up a birdie as her partner Remington Hirano of Honolulu two-putted to capture the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association Mixed Team Championship.

“They’re going to talk about that missed putt for a long time,” Remington’s mother said after the Oahu duo was forced into the three-way, one-hole playoff following regulation play.

Hirano and Galdiano capitalized on the clear weather and finished with a 5-under par 67 to lead the opening round Saturday. But the duo stumbled during the final round’s alternate shot format, finishing with a 3-over par 75 for a two-round 142.

The score tied with Keegan Loo of Lihue, a Punahou School student, who partnered with Zoey Akagi-Bustin of Wahiawa, Oahu, and Kengo Aoshima, an Iolani School student, who partnered with Aiko Leong of Honolulu.

Both teams finished the opening round tied for third place at 2-under par 70. The stalemate continued during the final round when both teams left the final green with even-par 72 resulting in the three-way tie at 142.

“I need to make sure I get a bento,” Remington told his mother after learning of the playoff round, scurrying off to grab a lunch box before boarding the shuttle for the playoff at the Poipu Bay Golf Course No. 18, a par 5.

During the playoff, Galdiano and Hirano locked up the title with a birdie followed by Leong and Aoshima scoring par and the duo of Loo and Akagi-Bustin with a bogey.

A pair from Maui, Tyler Munetake and Kirsten Ishikawa finished fourth, three strokes off the pace at 145 (69-76) after finishing in second place following the opening round.

Kauai’s only representatives, Trevor Kua of Lihue and Naea Oda of Kapaa, finished ninth at 159 (76-83).

Lauren Yama of the HSJGA said the Mixed Team Championship helps prepare Hawaii HSJGA Team members to compete in a similar Ryder Cup format event being played against the top junior golfers from Japan during the 7th annual Asia Pacific Junior Cup, which will be contested in early November at Kaikoloa Kings’ Course on the Big Island.

During the Mixed Team Championship, play consisted of two-person teams that included a boy and a girl from the 13-18 age division.

Saturday play consisted of Four-Ball Stroke Play followed by Foursome Stroke Play on the final round at the Poipu Bay Golf Course, which played 6,023 yards for the girls and 6,499 yards for the boys.

• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.


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