KJGA winners emerge at Mitchell Ota

WAILUA — The heat might have caused Jayson Serrano to succumb to Ryan Chang Sunday during the finals of the 2017 Mitchell Ota Match Play Tournament at the Wailua Golf Course, presented by the Kauai Junior Golf Association.

“It’s too hot,” Serrano said, coming off the seventh hole. “I have a headache. I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Ryan Chang, playing consistent through the course, finished by winning the Boys 13-14 division, 2 up over Serrano.

“Jayson was not having a great day,” said Jennifer Hreljac, the tournament coordinator. “He forgot his glasses, and his dad had to leave to do business. He might have been struggling in the heat because he was straining to see.”

AJ Apalla and Braeden Yokoyama battled in the Boys 15-18 class, the pair outdistancing the younger divisions in rate of play.

Yokoyama advanced from the opening round Friday with a 5 and 4 win over Riley Gokan. He took Saturday’s round with a 1 up win over Deven Kimoto to face Apalla in the final round.

Apalla enjoyed an opening round bye and took Jaydon Kyono 2 and 1 to face Yokoyama in the finals where Apalla finished 6 and 5 over Yokoyama for the title.

“These boys must be tired,” Jennifer said. “Some of them have been playing since Friday. Others like the Boys 13 and 14, the Girls 7 through 11, and the Girls 13-18 are just playing this round.”

Jessica Hreljac took the Girls 13-18 division by default after her opponent withdrew, and in the Girls 7-11 class, Kiara Johnson was a 5 and 4 winner over Rianna Chang.

Jennifer said KJGA will be hosting tournaments through the end of the month. This weekend the Menehune Junior will be at the Wailua Golf Course, and the Summer Challenge will be contested July 29 at the Puakea Golf Course.

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