Hilo's Veriato playing at Turtle Bay
If you see a golfer eating spam musubi in the midst of Hale Irwin, Chi Chi Rodriguez, John Jacobs and Jan Stephenson this week at the Turtle Bay Championship, it will probably be Hilo's Steve Veriato.
Veriato is in a familiar position on the Champions Tour. He's won nearly $200,000 in 14 events this year, is 63rd on the money list and still needs something great to happen in his last two tournaments to play full-time on next year's tour.
Those in the top 50 earn exempt status the following year. The rest go back to qualifying school, where eight guys out of a few thousand earn their way on the tour.
Veriato won a tournament last year and finished 61st on the money list. He had to Monday qualify early this year, before his earnings boosted him to an exempt spot when the tour "re-shuffled" its players last month. Veriato's sixth-place finish at the season-opening MasterCard Championship on the Big Island was instrumental in his move up.
Veriato tees off in the Pro-Am today at 12:50 p.m., off the 10th tee. The 54-hole tournament begins Friday. It is the 29th of 31 official events. The SBC Championship is next week in San Antonio, then the top 31 play the Champions Tour Championship.
Veriato had three top-five finishes in this tournament when it was played on Maui.
UH's Kodama places second: Matt Kodama shot a 6-under-par 66 yesterday to finish second and lead the University of Hawai'i men's team to an eighth-place finish in the 18-team Ernest F. Lied Wolf Pack Classic at Reno, Nev.
Kodama, who started the day in a tie for sixth place, finished a stroke behind Utah's Garrett Clegg (68).
UH freshman Geoffrey Stevens, who shared the first-round lead with a 68, wound up in a tie for 40th with teammate Jordan Belton at 236.
Denver won with 847. Hawai'i finished with 869.
UH's Odelius in 12th: University of Hawai'i's Sara Odelius, who started the day in second place, slipped to 12th after shooting an 8-over 80 yesterday in the Price's Give 'Em Five Intercollegiate tournament at Las Cruces, N.M.
UH shot 315622 and is ninth in the 16-team field.
Oklahoma (598) leads second-place LSU by four strokes.
HPU sweeps: Chun Yi Lin hit .619 and had 15 kills and Chuan Yu Wen hit .588 and had 10 kills as No. 6 Brigham Young-Hawai'i swept Montana State-Billings in a Pacific West Conference women's match last night at Cannon Activities Center.
BYUH improved to 11-2 overall and 4-0 in the PacWest following a 30-16, 30-14, 30-15 victory in which it hit .408.
Olivia Munro had nine kills for Montana State-Billings (3-14, 0-6), which hit just .039.
Irons reaches third round: World champion Andy Irons of Kaua'i has advanced to the third round of the Quiksilver Pro France.
Irons recorded the best scores in his second-round victory over Portugal's Tiago Pires. Irons' top two waves scored a total of 18.5 points to Pires' 10.66.
Kalani Robb of O'ahu's North Shore was eliminated in the second round by Peterson Rosa, 12.7-10.0.
Competition has been postponed the past two days at Hossegor, France.