Oda, Galdiano Earn Berths to Junior PGA Championship

June 24, 2012, 5:16 PM HST · Updated June 24, 5:19 PM
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John Oda hits driver off the 18th tee Saturday at the Kaanapali Kai Golf Course. Drive 18. Photo courtesy of Kaanapali Golf Course.

By Rodney S. Yap

Two of the state’s best junior golfers continued their winning ways here — at the 36-hole 2012 Junior PGA Championship Section Qualifier –  and will now represent the 50th state in next month’s Junior PGA Championship.

Mariel Galdiano of Pearl City and John Oda of Honolulu won their respective Girls/Boys 13-18 Divisions Saturday at the Kaanapali Kai Course, where 89 other junior golfers competed for the two spots. The Junior PGA Championship is scheduled for July 31 to Aug. 3.

Both Galdiano and Oda grabbed first-round leads in, shooting under par, and were able to close the deal Saturday.

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John Oda, a junior-to-be at Moanalua High School, won the HHSAA David Ishii Foundation State Golf Individual Championship in April.

Oda described his second-round strategy:  “To minimize any mistakes and try not to bogey.”

Oda did just that, carding a 4-under-par 66 with four birdies and no bogeys. His best birdie came on the final hole, a tough par 4 with a carry to the green over water.

“I hit a hybrid off the tee down the middle of the fairway and gave myself about a 130 yard shot over water to the green,” Oda said. “It was pretty windy and I was debating between my 8- and 9-iron, I punched my 8 onto the green to give myself a birdie opportunity.

“I guess I got lucky with that putt – the greens are absolutely perfect and I just tried to be patient all day with the wind and make it on the green in two and then be confident in my putting.”

Oda’s 131 total was eight shots better than second-place Richard Hattori, also of Honolulu. Hattori shot a 69.

Mariel Galdiano won the girls qualifier Saturday. Photo courtesy of Kaanapali Kai Golf Course.

Galdiano had her eye on the prize early into round one when she carded a 66 and never looked back. She won her age division in Kaanapali’s Junior World Qualifier last month and will turn 14 on Monday.

Maui’s Marissa Uradomo was the runner up to Galdiano for the berth spot to the National Championship but Uradomo took home the Girls 15-18 award with her 74-70 and two-day total of 144. The Baldwin player and Maui Interscholastic League’s Individual Girls Champion finished six shots ahead of Honolulu resident Hansol Koo.

A year ago, on July 4, just nine days after her 13th birthday, Galdiano competed in the 2011 US Women’s Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Not only was she the third youngest to compete in the 66-year history of the Open, but she became the youngest-ever qualifier from Hawaii.

In the Girls 7-10 Division, Milburn Ho (158) shot one stroke better than Makawao resident, Joy Callinan (159). Both girls were tied at 80 after yesterday’s first round. Aneka Seumanutafa won the Girls 11-12 Division with a 36-hole score of 152 (+12).

Taisai Negishi of Hilo won the Boys 13-14 Division. Negishi was eight strokes ahead of competitor, Justin Ngan of Kahului.

Evan Kawai is not only one the most fashionable boys players, but he showed that his fashion can match his game. Kawai carded a 75-76 for a 151 total, six shots ahead of Andy Kang. Ethan Dezzani won the Boys 7-10 Division with a 149 two-day total, seven strokes ahead of Jacob Torres and 20 shots head of younger brother Torrin Dezzani.

 

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