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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 21, 2006

King Auto restores Pro-Junior Challenge

 •  Here's wishing more success for next year

Advertiser Staff

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With the support of King Auto Group, the Sony Open in Hawai'i has resurrected its Tuesday Pro-Junior event. The debut of the new King Auto Group Pro-Junior Skills Challenge will be Jan. 10, at 3 p.m. at Waialae Country Club.

Hawai'i juniors Alex Ching, Miki Ueoka, Chan Kim, Sean Maekawa and Elyse Okada will compete in the Challenge, which will take place on the 18th hole. Hawai'i pros Dean Wilson and Parker McLachlin, and 2002 Hawaiian Open champion Jerry Kelly have committed to play, with the final two pros to be announced later.

King Auto will donate $10,000 to the Hawai'i State Junior Golf Association and provide a $10,000 purse for the pros.

The original Pro-Junior Challenge ended in 2005 after four years. In that format, six Hawai'i juniors played with six pros in a six-hole alternate-ball format.

The Sony Open is Jan. 12 to 15. David Toms is defending champion. Seven of the top 10 on this year's money list have committed to play, including 1996 champion Jim Furyk, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Geoff Ogilvy and Stuart Appleby.


A few Michelle Wie updates:

  • The Punahou senior, just accepted to Stanford, is No. 20 in SI.com's "Top 20 Best Looking Male and Female Athletes." Lists were ranked by Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. Judge Daniella Sarahyba called Wie "an obvious beauty."

    Maria Sharapova is No. 1 among the women and Hawai'i surfer Malia Jones No. 6. Surfer Kelly Slater is No. 1 among men.

  • Wie will be featured on Mark Rolfing's next Golf Hawai'i, which premiers Monday, at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., on The Golf Channel. The show will also visit Turtle Bay Resort and talk with Hawai'i State Junior Golf Association founder Mary Bea Porter-King. The show will re-air Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m., and Dec. 31 at 8 a.m.


    Rob Nelson, Campus Director for The Golf Academy of Hawai'i, earned the Horton Smith Award, and Turtle Bay's Matt Hall the Bill Strausbaugh Award at the 2006 Aloha Section PGA Special Awards luncheon Sunday.

    The Smith Award recognizes those who improve educational opportunities for PGA pros. The Strausbaugh Award is for those who have caused "dramatic improvement" in employment conditions for PGA pros.

    Other awards:

    Professional of the Year: Ed Kageyama (Ka'anapali)

    Teacher of the Year: Jerry King (Kapalua Golf Academy)

    Junior Golf Leader: Beau Yokomoto (Pearl CC)

    President's Plaque: Greg Nichols (Ko Olina)

    Assistant Pro of the Year: Brenda Rego (Wailea)

    Merchandiser of the Year: ResortóRusty Hathaway (Wailea); PrivateóAndrew Feldmann (Oahu CC); PublicóRon Castillo Jr. (Kiahuna)

    Player of the Year: SectionóKevin Hayashi; SenioróRon Kia'aina Jr.

    Distinguished Service: Jay Hinazumi

    President's Award: Mary Bea Porter-King

    Sales Representative of the Year: Lynne Chow