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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 18, 2006

18 women to vie in local qualifier

 •  Holes in One
 •  Golf notices

Advertiser Staff

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Just after daybreak this morning, 18 women will play in Hawai'i's U.S. Women's Open local qualifier at Ko Olina Golf Club. The top five advance to 36-hole sectional qualifiers around the country. Hawai'i's sectional will be back at Ko Olina June 13.

The field includes state high school champions Stephanie Kono (2006), Britney Choy (2004) and Rachel Kyono (2001), former professionals Lori Planos and Mary Bea Porter-King, Futures Tour player Heidi Chua and 15-year-old Carmen Bandea from Atlanta.

Bandea shot 80 Monday in the U.S. Open local qualifier at Turtle Bay. She was only 1-over at the turn, but had seven bogeys on the back. Michelle Wie earned medalist honors Monday with an even-par 72.

Bandea is at Ko Olina for the week on a family vacation. She resumes training next week, playing tennis from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and golf in the afternoon. Her ultimate goal is "to win both U.S. Opens, tennis and golf."

Former state high school and Pac-10 champion Jim Seki shot 68 earlier this month to advance out of the Santa Cruz local qualifier at Pasatiempo. Leilehua graduate Kevin Warrick shot a 70 Monday to advance from the Florida qualifier at Shark's Tooth Golf Club.

U.S. Golf Association qualifiers continue through the summer in Hawai'i. The schedule:

  • U.S. Senior Open: June 19 at Waialae Country Club. Entry deadline is May 31. The 2006 championship is July 6 to 9 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan. The qualifier is open to golfers 50 and older (as of July 6, 2006) with a USGA approved men's handicap index of 3.4 or better.

  • U.S. Amateur: Aug. 2 at Pearl Country Club. Entry deadline is June 28. The 2006 championship is Aug. 21 to 27 at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. Open to golfers with a USGA approved men's handicap index of 2.4 or better.

  • U.S. Mid-Amateur: Aug. 15 at Oahu Country Club. Entry deadline is July 19. The 2006 championship is Sept. 9 to 14 at Forest Highlands Golf Club in Flagstaff, Ariz. Qualifier is open to amateurs 25 and older (by Sept. 9, 2006) with a USGA approved men's handicap index of 3.4 or better.

  • Senior Amateur: Aug. 28 at Honolulu Country Club. Entry deadline is Aug. 9. The 2006 championship is Sept. 16 to 21 at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Ind. Qualifier is open to amateurs 55 and older (by Sept. 16, 2006) with a USGA approved men's handicap index of 7.4 or better.

    For more information, contact Hawai'i State Golf Association at 589-2909 or hsga@usga.org.


    The 2006 Kuma Contracting Corp. Kona Open is this weekend at Kona Country Club. Parker McLachlin, the 2005 champion, is now playing on the Nationwide Tour and will not defend. Three-time BIIF champion Sean Maekawa is back to defend his low amateur title.

    The professional, championship and A flights will play both the Ali'i Mountain and Ocean courses, beginning at noon Saturday (shotgun start) and 7 a.m. Sunday (off the first and 10th tees). The professional purse is $15,000.

    Governor's Cup points will be awarded. The professional field includes Norman-Ganin Asao, Jarret Hamamoto, Kevin Hayashi, Regan Lee, John Lynch, Dan Nishimoto, Joe Phengsavath and Randy Shibuya.


    Ko Olina will be the site of Play Golf America Women's Golf Week June 3 to 10. Women can play 18 holes for $40 and nine holes for $20 all week. The promotion is open only to Hawai'i residents and times are based on availability, after noon.

    Women can bring their scorecards to Roy's Ko Olina after the round and get a free souffle with the purchase of an entree. Roy's will also hold a golf clinic June 7. There will be prizes and contests, followed by wine tasting and pupu.

    Check-in is 3 p.m., with the Golf Academy Clinic & Contests running until 4:30 p.m., followed by the food. The cost is $40, with a portion going to the American Heart Association.

    To register, call Ko Olina's Golf Shop (676-5300) or go to www.playgolfamerica.com


    Ka'anapali Golf Courses will offer free 10-minute lessons with PGA head golf professionals Scott Ashworth and Ed Kageyama next Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. To schedule a lesson, call 808-661-5779, ext. 223 on Maui. Michelle Lo has been hired to run Ka'anapali Golf Courses' Junior Golf Program, which runs from June to August. Lo graduated from the San Diego Golf Academy program in golf complex management. She has been an assistant pro at Ka'anapali Golf Courses for six months. She is originally from Hong Kong and came to Maui from California.