Ota tops field for Manoa Cup
One solid day on the course earned 63 amateur golfers a line in the bracket for the Manoa Cup.
Taking the plunge into the Oahu Country Club pool reserved for the state match-play champion will require stringing together a week's worth of quality rounds.
"You have to play good every day from now on," defending champion Jonathan Ota said. "You don't know when you're going to catch an opponent who's going to make six birdies on you. But when you do, you have to make seven. You always have to raise your game."
The 64-player bracket for the 99th annual Manoa Cup was filled out with yesterday's qualifying round at OCC and first-round matches were scheduled to start at 7 this morning.
The field bracket will be whittled down through the week, with the quarterfinals and semifinals set for Friday and the 36-hole championship on Saturday.
Ota was automatically awarded the top seed as the defending champion but played in yesterday's qualifying round anyway, shooting a 2-under 69.
"I didn't want to treat it like a relaxing round," Ota said. "It's the start of the tournament so I wanted to get into a tournament mode."
Though players were allowed to use carts for the qualifying round, they'll have to hike around OCC's hilly 6,041-yard layout starting today.
Ota was among six players to break into red figures yesterday. Edward Stenftenagel claimed the second seed as the top qualifier with a 4-under 67. Doug Williams shot 68 and 2004 champion Ryan Perez carded a 69. Erick Ellgren and Yusuke Aonuma finished at 70.
Along with Ota and Perez, other previous Manoa Cup champions who qualified yesterday were Brandan Kop (73), Kellen-Floyd Asao (73) and Travis Toyama (74).