Going into the Sony Open, Michelle Wie was the teenager in the spotlight. But before the weekend arrived, the focus shifted to another teen from Hawaii, 16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa, who became the youngest player in 50 years to make a PGA Tour cut.
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After carding a one-over 71 in his opening round, Fujikawa moved into position to make the cut with solid play in Friday's round.
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Fujikawa sealed the deal by draining a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that electrifed the crowd. That capped his 4-under round of 66 and gave him a spot in the weekend field.
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Fujikawa was determined in Saturday's round to show that his 66 the day before was no fluke.
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Fujikawa showed the kind of poise you don't expect from a 16-year-old playing against professional men.
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Said Fujikawa's caddie Garret Hayashi: "He's a real fighter who thrives on pressure."
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As he kept moving up the leaderboard, Fujikawa heard the cheers from the gallery: "Tadd is Rad!"
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Despite some setbacks on the course, Fujikawa kept a positive outlook.
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Improbably, Fujikawa posted another 66 in the third round, moving him up the leaderboard and in contention to win the event.
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Fujikawa shot 72 in the final round, giving him a four-day total of 5-under 275 and a tie for 20th on the final leaderboard. Said his mother Lori: "The golf god was with us."
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Fujikawa may be just 5-foot-1 but he played big-time -- and pros such as Jim Furyk appreciated being part of the ride.
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The Hawaiian sunset offered a perfect chance for Fujikawa to reflect on his week ... and wonder what the future holds for him.
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