Diverse field tees off at Pearl State Amateur first for Chan to defend
Their amateur status is about all the golfers have in common at this year's Hawai'i State Amateur Stroke Play Championship.
Defending champion is Lorens Chan, a 15-year-old 'Iolani sophomore who set the scoring record at Pearl Country Club last year (10-under par), despite having one round rained out.
The most intriguing entries might be Punahou sixth-grader Allisen Corpuz, the reigning Hawai'i State Women's Match Play champion, and Eimi Koga, a Moanalua freshman who took second at the last HSWGA Stroke Play Championship. Corpuz turns 12 this month. Koga, who caddied for Hawai'i Pearl Open champion Akinori Tani last month, is 14.
There are players from different generations and countries. This could be a preview of the state high school championships, the Mānoa Cup or the Amatour Hawai'i season, which starts next weekend with the Qualifying Tournament. It could also provide a peek into the Hawai'i State Junior Golf Association year.
All tee off today at Pearl. The second round starts early tomorrow. The field of 87 is cut to the top 40 and ties for the weekend.
PO'IPū BAY COURSE RENOVATING GREENS
Kaua'i's Po'ipū Bay Golf Course will close April 1 to begin its greens renovation project. Reopening is planned for Dec. 16.
Po'ipū Bay's Golf Shop will remain open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restaurant at Po'ipū Bay Clubhouse will be closed during the renovation.
The project will replace the original Tifdwarf Bermuda grass with a Sea Shore Paspalum hybrid (Supreme) that has proved to be an optimum putting surface in Hawai'i.
"The new greens will provide a faster, more consistent putting surface for our guests," said Craig Sasada, Po'ipū Bay's Director of Golf. "And they will be eco-friendly, requiring less fertilizer, water, and use of herbicides."
The Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed course opened in 1991 and was the home of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994 to 2006.
RARICK AMBASSADOR FOR NEW TOURNEY
The LPGA's Legends Tour, which held the inaugural Kinoshita Pearl Classic at Kapolei Golf Club last year, announced a new event this week and former University of Hawai'i golfer Cindy Rarick will serve as Tournament Ambassador.
The Women's Senior National Invitational will be at the Omni Tucson National Resort Catalina Course, April 23 and 24. It will have a field of 18. This is the sixth event for The Legends Tour's in 2010 and third new event in nine months.
Kinoshita is not currently on the 2010 schedule.
"I am excited and honored to have some of the greatest players in women's golf returning to Tucson for the Women's Senior National Invitational," Rarick said.
Rarick, who represents Waikoloa, said the First Tee Program will receive a "significant charitable contribution" from the tourney.
GolfTEC Hawai'i will hold a performance clinic/demo day Tuesday from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., at its 510 Piikoi St. location. Clinic sessions with GolfTEC Hawai'i PGA certified teaching pros Jason Deigert, John Lynch and Bill Hunt will be offered. Representatives from TMaG, Adams, Cleveland, Callaway and Mizuno will display their latest equipment.
Turtle Bay Resort is offering a 36-hole Kama'āina Weekday Golf Special through the end of May. Golfers can play both the Fazio and Palmer courses for just $75, with complimentary practice balls, bottled water and a bag tag. Call the Golf Shop (293-8574) for more information and to book tee times.