CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Taeksoo Kim eliminated Doug Williams 3 and 1 to advance to today's quarterfinals of the Manoa Cup at Oahu Country Club.
‘Old’ Kop tips Perez
13-year-old Chan becoming the man at Manoa Cup
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Brandan Kop thinks back to when he was 13, the same age as Lorens Chan, the youngest remaining golfer in today's 99th Manoa Cup quarterfinals at Oahu Country Club.
In 1970, golf was not the 'in' sport as it has become for young athletes. Back then, Kop was a rarity ... he had already been playing for three years.
"Nowadays, they start carrying clubs at 5-6 years-old," said the 46-year-old Kop, the last player to win back-to-back Manoa Cup titles, the Hawaii state amateur match-play championship. "Golf wasn't like it is now. It was not the popular sport in high school, it wasn't cool.
"And the money wasn't there.
"You look at the (PGA Tour) money list in 1983 (the first year he won the Manoa Cup) and the leader earned around $250,000. Now you can make millions with one win."
Kop would enjoy winning one for the "old guys." He defeated 21-year-old Ryan Perez, the 2004 Cup champion, 2 up yesterday to gain today's quarterfinal against 19-year-old Kurt Nino.
Nino eliminated Erick Ellgren 3 and 1.
Kop had the closest match of the day. Defending champion Jonathan Ota and Chan both won theirs 6 and 5.
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He came for the experience.
He could leave as the youngest champion in the 99 years of the Manoa Cup.
Lorens Chan continued to show poise and a golf game that belies his 13 years, easily advancing to this morning's quarterfinals of the Hawaii state amateur match-play championship at Oahu Country Club. The incoming eighth-grader at Iolani School capped his 6-and-5 win yesterday over recent Maryknoll School graduate Ryan Hironaka with an eagle 3 on the steep, tricky No. 13.
Even more impressive than the score was Chan's clinching shot, his second using a 3-wood from about 245 yards away. The ball landed on the green about 15 feet above the hole, broke left-to-right and trickled back into the cup.
"Actually, I was going for a two-putt," said Chan, who was to meet defending champion Jonathan Ota in today's first quarterfinal. "I've been hitting the ball pretty good all week and I've done well mainly because of my putting. The greens are fast.
"But that last shot ... it was crazy."
And it made Chan's caddie, recent Mid-Pacific graduate Adrian Doo, feel like a genius.
"We were discussing what to hit on that second shot, either a 5- or a 3-wood," said Doo, hoping to walk on to the golf team at Oregon this fall. "It was about the same distance (from the hole) as he had on No. 6. I told him to put a good swing into it and it would be good.
"I had a weird feeling that it would go in. It kind of stopped, then kept trickling back and fell in.
"It was a great way to end the match. If he keeps playing the way he has been, he'll give Jonathan a run for his money."
Ota, one of the two remaining former champions in the field, also had a 6-and-5 victory to eliminate Troy Gibbons.
In a match between two former winners, four-time champion Brandan Kop eliminated 2004 winner Ryan Perez, the fourth seed, 2 up.
Kop was to meet Damien graduate Kurt Nino, an incoming junior at the University of San Francisco. Nino defeated Erick Ellgren 3 and 1, nearly chipping in for eagle on 17 before settling for a birdie that clinched the win.
Also advancing were Monday's medalist Edward Stenftenagel, 8 and 7 over Shane Adversalo; and in a matchup of two left-handers, David Fink won 4 and 3 over Kellen Watabu. Also, Taeksoo Kim upset third-seeded Doug Williams 3 and 1; and Max Bonk ousted David Saka, also 3 and 1.
The challenge today was more than overcoming Oahu's slick greens, gusty winds and intermittent showers. The quarterfinal winners had semifinal tee times right before noon.
"In college, we play 36 holes in a day, so you have to be ready," Nino said.
Fink said he hopes to be up to the task of taking on the hottest golfer of the week: the 20-year-old Stenftenagel of Indian Wells, Calif.
"I'm just going to keep my head up and play happy," said Fink, an incoming junior at Iolani. "I'm a member here so I know the course.
"I'm here almost every day during the summer. I'm looking forward to playing every shot and feel blessed to have gotten this far."
Notes: The youngest Cup champion was Travis Toyama, 15, in 2002 ... Kop, grandson of local golf legend Guinea, is tied for third for most Cup wins (four) with Charles Makaiwa. Ken Miyaoka has six and the late Francis I'i Brown won nine between 1920 and 1934.