Father joins son in Manoa Cup
Rodney and Adrian Doo had a little wager going into yesterday's qualifying round for the 99th Manoa Cup.
If one of them failed to make the 64-player field he'd have to caddie for the other the next day.
Turned out, neither had to worry about lugging the other's bag around Oahu Country Club's hilly terrain as the father-son tandem both qualified for the state amateur match-play championship yesterday.
"Our goal was pretty much just to qualify and see what happens," said Adrian Doo, the younger of the duo. "So it was a good accomplishment today."
This morning's first-round matches will be the first in the Manoa Cup for both Rodney and Adrian. They played in last year's qualifying round and finished just short of making the match-play portion of the annual highlight of the amateur golf calendar. Rodney finished one stroke out of a playoff for the final spot with Adrian another shot back.
This time, Adrian put himself in comfortable position with a 4-over 74 yesterday, earning him the 35th seed. Rodney followed with a 77 and was the 49th seed.
"He was hassling me, giving me a hard time, saying, 'Make the cut or you're just going to be doing a lot of housework,' " Adrian said. "That was some motivation."
Adrian, 18, recently graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute and began playing the game five years ago. He finished tied for 17th at the HHSAA state championship last month and plans to try out for the University of Oregon golf team as a walk-on next season.
Rodney, who turns 58 on Father's Day, hadn't played much golf in 15 years until Adrian's interest in the sport led him to start swinging the clubs again. Early on, he held the advantage over his son, but he's watched Adrian's game develop over their nine-hole rounds at Waialae Country Club.
"Two years ago (beating Adrian) was no problem," Rodney said. "But now it's tough. He's beyond me now."
With Tadd Fujikawa, a close friend, carrying the clubs, Adrian played a steady round with a birdie on No. 5 and saved par on No. 8, despite sending his drive into the trees.
"He made a few shots today that were kinda like out of nowhere," Fujikawa said. "He saved himself on a few."
"I wasn't hitting the ball too great, but I had a good caddie," Adrian said. "Tadd helped me a lot reading the putts."
Rodney also enjoyed a solid round, posting birdies on Nos. 12, 13 and 2, before finishing with a double bogey and a bogey on his final two holes. Along the way, he tried to keep tabs on Adrian, playing three groups ahead of him, while concentrating on his next shot as well.
"I was just watching if he teed up first or last," he said. "That was my signal if that was a good hole."
In the end, Adrian had enough good holes to make his dad carry his own bag today.
Tabs on Tadd
Fujikawa had hoped to be in Oakmont, Pa., in a return to the U.S. Open, but is also happy to be back home and among friends at the Manoa Cup.
"These guys are all buddies of mine," the Moanalua junior said. "It's always nice to see old faces."
Fujikawa played in a sectional qualifier for the Open in Japan on May 28, but finished out of the top three with a two-round total of 153. With final exams at Moanalua awaiting him upon his return, he felt he didn't have enough time to get ready for the Manoa Cup and is a caddie, instead.
"I came back from Japan two days before exams, so I had to cram and I couldn't practice and I really wasn't sure if I was going to be ready so I decided not to play," Fujikawa said.
Fujikawa, who became the youngest golfer to play in the U.S. Open since 1941 last summer, said he'll spend most of the summer practicing, before playing in the Reno-Tahoe Open in late July.