Poor Malia Nam. The Kaiser golfer placed second and was unable to defend her Oahu Interscholastic Association golf championship on Wednesday at Turtle Bay.
Instead, Miki Manta —— the girl from rival Kalani —— won by a stroke. And this happened, in part, because Nam, in a sense, hit her approach “too good” on the finishing ninth at the Fazio Course.
Yes indeed. Nam hit the 145-yard shot so good, she felt it. She called it “pure” after the round. So here she is watching the ball fly toward the green … toward the pin … wait a minute … to the back of the green and 10 yards over.
As a result, Nam chipped on and missed a 12-footer for par. Manta, meanwhile, two-putted from 35 feet for par for the one-shot win. The two were tied at 2-over 74 entering the second day and the final 18 holes. In the same group, they battled all day long with the lead shifting back and forth.
Manta wound up at 5-over 149, one shot ahead of Nam in the battle of the sophomores.
“I was 145 yards out and against the wind,” Nam said. “Normally that’s an 8-iron for me, so I grabbed an extra club, the 7. I hit it so pure, it penetrated the wind.”
In true sportsmanship fashion, after the round, Manta said, “I feel kind of sad for her.”
Nam was consoled by coaches and friends, including one of the Cougars boys golfers who used a towel to help her dry her tears that lasted at least a half-hour after the finish.
“I don’t like to lose at anything,” she said. “I’m super competitive. I had a really good feeling coming in and wanted to win again.”
A golfer walked past Nam while saying abruptly, “Stop crying, it’s just a game.”
“She’s a friend,” Nam said.
Well, so far in the two years Nam and Manta have been in the OIA championship, it’s Manta 1, Nam 1 with two more to go. Could get interesting.
Here’s how close Tuesday’s battle was (they played the back nine first):
>> After No. 10: Nam up by 1
>> After No. 11: Nam up by 1
>> After No. 12: Nam up by 1
>> After No. 13: Nam up by 2
>> After No. 14: Nam up by 1
>> After No. 15: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 16: Even
>> After No. 17: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 18: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 1: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 2: Manta up by 2
>> After No. 3: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 4: Manta up by 3
>> After No. 5: Manta up by 2
>> After No. 6: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 7: Manta up by 1
>> After No. 8: Even
>> After No. 9: Manta up by 1
Here are the complete results: