Hawaii MVP: Nainoa CalipUPDATED 11:02 PM HST Jun 19, 2014Video Transcript
HILO-native, Kamehameha Big Island graduate, former University of Hawaii golfer, and just last weekend, the NEWLY crowned "Manoa Cup Champion". NEXT.... PROFESSIONA L, the plan's to pick-up sponsorship to back him for Q- school, then make a run at the Asian Tour. But for the time being, he's ENJOYING what he accomplished at O'ahu Country Club. It was his FIRST entry in the state's TOP amateur golf tournament, and at 106-years-old, Manoa Cup's the FOURTH longest running tournament in the country. In the 36-hole finale, he knocked-off U.H-Hilo's Isaac Jaffurs, 6-and-5. And when HE was at U-H, his career average was 72-point-8. An All-Big West "Honorable Mention" in 20-14, with FOUR top-20's, and a "Runner-Up" finish in Conference championship. Here's our Jahmai Webster, with Nainoa Calip, our "Hawaii MVP" this week. Afer being RED-HOT, It Afer being RED-HOT, It was the cool-down of a lifetime... nat "I GOT THINGS TOGETHER on the BACK NINE AND WAS ABLE TO MAKE SOME BIRDIES AND GET SOME RED ON THE BOARD." After birding FOUR of his first 7-holes to start the Manoa Cup, Nainoa Calip got to experience the joys of winning, taking part in the ceremonial pool toss a tournament tradition. nat And he's chased that feeling since his last victory his senior year of high school in 20--10. Getting close to top spot, even ending his U.H. career runner up at the conference championship tournament, but this time he was able to dress the part. "I'M PLEASED WITH THE WAY I PLAYED, ISAAC WAS A GOOD COMPETITIOR HE DIDN'T GIVE UP ON ME EVENTHOUGH I KEPT HITTING GREENS AND PUTTING IT UP THERE CLOSE BUT HE DIDN'T GO AWAY, HE KEPT UP THEIR CLOSE. A LITTLE UNFORTUNATE IN THE END WITH THAT LAST HOLE, BUT SOMETIMES THAT'S HOW GOLF GOES. WAS IT DIFFICULT TO BE PLAYING WITH SUCH A BIG LEAD TO CONTINUE TO STRIKE THE BALL AND STICK TO YOUR GAME-PLAN? YEAH I HAD TO REASSES MYSELF AND CALM MYSELF DOWN A FEW TIMES AND TELL MYSELF I HAD THE LEAD, AND IT'LL BE OKAY TO LOSE A WHOLE HERE AND THERE AND I'M HITTING THE BALL GOOD ENOUGH. I JUST WENT WITH IT AND TURNED OUT ALRIGHT." That maybe the understatment of the year, ALRIGHT was excellent, Nainoa never trailed in his VERY FIRST manoa cup title chase. Don't have to go far to see why or how he had this success. As a former Hawaii golfer it's almost a rights of passage... U.H head coach Ron Miyashiro has seen one of his guys crowned champion at O- C-C EIGHT times. And that number includes a two-time champion.... First, there was Ryan Koshi in 2-thousand-1, Travis Toyama followed that up with a victory in 2-thousand-2, 0-3 belonged to Kellen-Floyd Asao, before Toyama took another dip in 05. Before Travis went TWO-TIME champion... Ryan Perez held his breath enroute to the winners dive in 04. FIVE years later, TJ Kua came along, LAST YEAR it was Jared Sawada. ALL U-H guys, and in 20--14, Calip makes it SEVEN under Miyashiro... "WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU TO BE APART OF THAT KINDA HISTORY? IT'S AMAZING, THERE'S ALOT OF GREAT PLAYERS THAT CAME OUTTA U.H ....I'M JUST TRYING TO FOLLOW IN THAT LEGACY." Where he hopes to write more history... Calip says he trys to practice 5-hours a day when not working part-time at the Ala Wai driving range. And this break-through victory maybe just the boost he needed moving forward... "MEANS EVERYTHING, I HAD A FEW RUNNER-UPS THIS PAST SEASON IN COLLEGE SO IT MEANS ALOT TO FINALLY GET THAT NUMBER ONE SPOT ...I PUT ALOT OF WORK INTO MY GAME AND IT SHOWED, IT PAYED OFF." 2014 Manoa Cup Champion Nainoa Calip, our "Hawaii MVP" this week. JW, KITV4 Sports. If any of YOU have ideas who we should feature as a Hawaii M-V-P, hit us up at K-I- T-V dot-com Calip will graduate from U.H. in December, AFTER that, it's time to take a swing at becoming a Pro golfer.