Maui resident Eric Molina is the oldest player in the Open Division of the 113th Manoa Cup. The 63-year-old advanced to the round of 16 by taking down an 18-year-old and a 21-year-old on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, his momentum was stalled by recent Punahou graduate Marshall Kim, falling 4 & 2.
The loss would not damper Molina’s return to the prestigious Hawaii tournament. Molina decided to return to play in the Manoa Cup after 20 years because he wanted one more special memory with his father on Father’s Day weekend.
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“My mom passed away a little while ago and my dad has been lonely. He used to caddy for us in tournaments. He’s getting lonely, so I said, ‘Let’s go’ and he came over and caddied for me then I qualified,” Molina told KHON2’s Alan Hoshida. “I’m so happy he came over. I sent him home early because he’s up there. He’s 90 years old. That was the best thing about the Manoa Cup.”
Eric’s father caddied for him for the opening qualifying round of Monday, where he shot 78 to advance into the first round of match play.
Kim will face the University of Hawaii’s Tyler Ogawa in the quarterfinals on Friday.
On the women’s side of the tournament, soon-to-be seniors Raya Nakao (Punahou) and Kara Kaneshiro (Kalani) advanced to the championship match. They will tee off Friday at 7 a.m. at Oahu Country Club for a chance to take the celebratory jump into the pool.