RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sanae Vierra won a playoff for the low-gross title at the Waialae Women's 50th Anniversary Golf Championship.
Vierra wins low-gross for second straight year
She edges Yao in a playoff to win the Waialae invitational
For 49 years, the Waialae Women's Invitational golf tournament never strayed from its motto of "good fun, warm aloha."
The 50th was no exception. Where else would:
» The tee boxes be marked with coconuts spray-painted gold?
» Maui golfer Mia Hew consider the perfect warm-up for this event a combination of winning the Pua Melia title Sunday and plenty of shopping?
» The lucky-number drawing take precedence over a playoff?
But so it was yesterday at Waialae Country Club, where play backed up a bit at No. 13, as much due to the winds as to the concentrated effort of winning the $88,000 Jaguar convertible for a hole-in-one.
Sanae Vierra didn't get the ace, but her lucky number was 40, worth a couple of sleeves of Nike balls. About an hour later, that number was 3 ... as in the number of playoff holes she needed to defeat first-round leader Lily Yao and repeat as overall low-gross champion.
"I like this course very much," said Vierra, who shot a second-round 78 to tie Yao at 159 in regulation. "Every year, it feels hard. It's you against nature. Today was more windy (than Monday) and the greens were very fast."
The green at No. 18 proved the downfall for many in the full field of 128, but it particularly cost Yao, who led the field Monday with a 78. The 8-handicapper double-bogeyed 18 after needing two shots to hit out of the front right bunker then seeing her short bogey-putt lip out.
"That was the one that lost the championship I think, 18," said Yao, who finished her round on No. 1 because of the shotgun start. "If I didn't miss that short putt ...
"But I'm an 8-handicapper and I'm happy overall. I love this course and this is probably the most popular tournament we have. The Waialae Ladies Club does a really good job (hosting)."
Yao, a Waialae member, began yesterday morning with the chance of becoming both the overall low gross and low net champion. It ended in early afternoon with her losing both overall titles in playoffs, the second for low net to Oahu Country Club member Joann Chun (21-handicap) on the second playoff hole. Both had net 143s to force the playoff.
Yao did earn the Championship Flight gross title with her 159.
Other gross winners were: Linette Tam (A, 181); Lola Gebauer (B, 182); Erin Ng (C, 187); and Sally Harper (D, 194).
Other flight net winners were: Vivian Sasaki (championship, 148); Kinuko Holt (A, 151; Angie Kim (B, 148); E.J. Cho (C, 145); and Miriam Mizumoto (D, 148).