QB Moniz retains starting job for UH
By Fred Guzman
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Bryant Moniz – the incumbent – was named starting quarterback for the University of Hawaii going into the Sept. 2 opener against USC at Aloha Stadium. The fourth-year junior started eight of UH’s final nine games last season after replacing the injured Greg Alexander.
What little drama there might have been was the result of Moniz being placed on personal leave for the final three weeks of spring drills. But he returned to the team in late May and was involved in the off-season conditioning program and unofficial summer workouts.
By the time fall camp opened and for all of talk about there being an open competition also involving Shane Austin, Brent Rausch and David Graves, it was pretty much a given that Moniz would emerge as Hawaii’s No. 1 QB.
HC Greg McMackin plans to take another week before naming a primary backup for Moniz. The likely winner of that battle is Austin, who started in UH’s road win over San Jose State last season. The junior appeared in four games, completing 58 of 93 — a 62.4 percent accuracy rate — for 545 yards and two scores while suffering three picks.
It’s been quite a ride – and rise – for Moniz. After playing a single season at Fresno City College, the Leilehua High grad entered fall camp last year as UH’s No. 4 QB. But a string of injuries resulted in his elevation to the starting job after Alexander underwent season-ending knee surgery.
Moniz completed 57 percent of his attempts for 2,396 yards and 14 TD passes while suffering 10 picks, helping UH to a top three national finish in passing for the 10th time in 11 seasons. This year, Moniz will have the additional challenge of operating behind a revamped offensive line.
FUJIKAWA WINS: Putting on a dazzling display of golf that belied his age, experience and physical stature, 19-year-old Tadd Fujikawa of Hawaii completed a dazzling display of shot-making to capture the eGolf Tour Championship. The 5-foot-1 Fujikawa demolished the course and the field, winning the event by a whopping nine strokes.
Fujikawa began his title run on Wednesday with a 7-under 65 at Spring Creek Golf Club in Gordonsville, Va. He tied the course record by firing a 64 on Thursday and followed that up with a 68 on Friday. Fujikawa closed out the event with another 68 on Saturday for a four-round total of 25-under 263.
The distant runner-up was former PGA Tour pro and Clemson All-American Matt Hendrix, who finished at 272. Only 12 more of eGolf’s 50 best players got into double digits under par.
Fujikawa turned pro in 2007, at age 16, after tying for 20th at that year’s Sony Open in Hawaii, becoming the youngest ever to make a PGA Tour cut. His pro career started almost three years ago at the PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open. He won the Mid-Pacific Open in 2008 and ’09 and the Maui Open last year.
Fujikawa claimed the tour’s largest first-place prize — $25,000 — and also moved up to fifth on the money list for the season with $63,348. The tour also pays for Q-School for its top 20, worth another $4,500.
MAUI OPEN: Royden Heirakuji of Makawao captured the 53rd edition of the Maui Open in a playoff with Brian Sasada at The Dunes at Maui Lani. The two had tied at 146 after the regulation 36 holes.