Kaiser’s Malia Nam and Kalani’s Miki Manta — the previous two OIA individual golf medalists — engaged in a classic duel on the golf course at Turtle Bay on Tuesday with Nam outlasting Manta in nine playoff holes to claim her second OIA title in three years.
Nam two-putted from roughly 25 feet on the par-3 15th hole at the Fazio Course to snatch the victory after Manta’s tee shot went left of the green. Manta attempted a putt from off the green and came within an inch of the hole before it rolled past, giving the title to Nam.
The two went back-and-forth in a memorable OIA championship that turned into a match-play event for two hours in the afternoon.
Nam was in a bunker short of the green on the seventh playoff hole (the par-3 11th) and wowed the gallery of teammates, parents and competitors by holing out. She raised her arms, believing it likely to be a winning birdie.
Manta refused to give in and answered with a 30-foot birdie putt that dropped to continue the marathon day.
Two holes later, it took a rare mistake by Manta to end the long and grueling day.
“She played great,” Nam said. “I have not played a nine-hole playoff before and I’m sure she hasn’t either. Our games really showed out there.”
Nam started the day one shot behind Manta, who held the 18-hole lead after shooting even par on Monday. They were well ahead of the pack and Nam built a four-shot lead over Manta with eight holes remaining before Manta came storming back to tie it up after 36 holes.
“I made some stupid mistakes coming in, made some really dumb bogeys,” Nam said. “I was stressed already. I didn’t think we were going to play nine more holes. I was tired, but I didn’t let it affect how I played.”
Kaiser’s Keila Baladad had the top girls round of the day with a 2-over 74 and she finished in third place. She was part of the Cougars’ team title with Nam and Sara Keppel.
Kalani took second.
Moanalua’s Jun Won Ho finished at 4-under 140 after a final-round 69 to break away from Roosevelt’s Kolbe Irei by three shots and capture his second straight boys individual championship. He also led Na Menehune to the team crown.
Kalani took second place among boys teams, followed by Roosevelt.