Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Advertiser Staff

Posted on: Saturday, January 16, 2010

Skydiving part of Rooney's challenge

 • Palmer out front at windy Waialae

Major Dan Rooney, the originator of Patriot Golf Day, was more involved than he expected at Tuesday's Pro-Junior Skills Challenge.

Rooney, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., was invited to skydive into the 18th green in a tandem jump with Skydive Hawai'i as part of the program. He took up the challenge.

"Life is short," Rooney wrote in a diary of the day. "This ain't no dress rehearsal. My wife Jacqy and I are kindred spirits in that regard. We have a bucket list of 'must dos.' Skydiving, holding a spot near the top, was about to be crossed off the list."

Rooney's diary went on to detail his training the afternoon of the jump, the countdown from the plane and finally his jump to a target 15,000 feet below, at 120 mph, and deployment of the parachute.

"Looking up, I see the good chute," Rooney wrote. "The fear, the wind, the noise disappear. Replaced by pure peace. Virtual silence. A 'now' moment. The worries of the world completely absent. What a gift. An extraordinary view of the aqua-blue Pacific Ocean flanked with the lush, emerald-green Diamond Head peaks."

Rooney's Folds of Honor Foundation has raised $5.3 million and awarded 800-plus scholarships to children and spouses of military men and women killed or disabled while serving. The Pro-Junior is a benefit for Hawai'i junior golf.

The next day, Rooney and Jacqy jumped together on the North Shore.


If one more golfer had reached even par yesterday that is where the cut would have come, ousting 11 guys at 1-over. The relieved group includes Hilo's Kevin Hayashi and former champions K.J. Choi and Vijay Singh, who eagled his last hole.

The cut came at 1-over 141, with 80 advancing to today's third round. Because there are more than 78 left in the field there will be another cut today, again to the low 70 and ties.

Jerry Kelly, the 2002 Sony champion, withdrew after hitting his tee shot at the 12th hole. He suffered a dislocation in his lower back. Tim Wilkinson also withdrew when he hit a ball from the ditch on the eighth hole that ricocheted off a rock and hit him near the collarbone.

Two 50-year-olds —Tom Lehman and Michael Allen — are tied for 12th. Lehman has won five times, is a former Ryder Cup captain and was Player of the Year in 1996, when he captured the British Open. Allen has played in 344 tour events without winning, but captured his first Champions Tour start last year and it was a major — the Senior PGA Championship.

There is an article on Hawai'i Golf Hall of Famer David Ishii in the current issue of GolfWorld magazine.