The year may have changed, but the result stayed the same. Mari Nishiura defeated Aiko Leong for the second year in a row to capture the Manoa Cup at Oahu Country Club.
Nishiura, a two-time OIA champion at Mililani and current member of the University of Nevada golf team, trailed by one through 15 holes before making birdie on 16 and par on 17 to go one-up. Both players made bogey on 18, securing the win for Nishiura.
"Today was a really tough match against Aiko," said Nishiura. "We were battling back and forth all day and I just had a couple lucky shots at the end to push me forward."
Nishiura was the top seed in the tournament and was on the ropes after dropping shots on the 12th and 13th to fall behind by one.
"I knew I was still in it, so I was telling myself to stay positive, you can make up some ground coming down the stretch," said Nishiura. "I was just trying to stay calm and have fun."
Leong, a sophomore at BYU, had opportunities to hold off Nishiura, but instead made bogey on her final three holes.
"I didn't play as confidently as I was playing throughout the round," Leong said of her finish. "It got away from me and there was nothing I could do about it."
Despite the outcome, it was a successful week for the former HHSAA state runner-up at Punahou. Leong was the 11-seed in the field and eliminated the two-seed in the semifinals Thursday.
The men's tournament will conclude Saturday with a 36-hole match play championship. The final twosome will tee off at 7:00 am for the first 18 and then head back out at 11:30 am.
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