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Maui Open moving ‘across the pond’

A golf tournament with tons of history is moving to a golf course that traces its history to the game’s foundations.

The 2010 Dunes at Maui Lani Maui Open will be Aug. 7 and 8. The entry deadline is next Thursday.

The 36-hole stroke-play event has two flights — Championship, for senior (50-older) and super-senior (60-older) amateurs and pros with a USGA handicap index of 6.2 or better, and A flight, for those with an index of 15.4 or better.

"We’re pleased to be hosting the Maui Open here at the Dunes at Maui Lani," said Dave Gleason, the general manager and director of golf. "The event itself has a storied past, and given that the Dunes was intended to be akin to the classic championship links from ‘across the pond,’ I felt that it was a win/win situation, a good thing to do for our community that makes business sense too."

The inaugural Maui Open, at Maui Country Club in 1952, finished with three champions — Waiehu pro Bill Tokunaga, James Tokunaga and Willie Goo, who all shot 151. The tournament expanded to 72 holes, with a purse of $1,000, the following year. Hawaii golf Hall of Famer Jimmy Ukauka won the 1952 title. He would also win the next five, before Guinea Kop — another Hall of Famer — beat him in a 1959 playoff.

The tournament was cut to 54 holes in 1963 and champions included Hall of Famers Ted Makalena, Paul Scodeller, Art Fujita, Allan Yamamoto, Morgan Fottrell, Masa Kaya, David "Bones" Bettencourt, Lance Suzuki, Dick McClean and David Ishii.

Along with Maui Country Club, the tournament has been played at Waiehu, Royal Kaanapali, Wailea and Kapalua.

It was revived by Kahili in 2008 and won by Maui pro Darren Summers. Last year, on the weekend of his Moanalua High School graduation, Tadd Fujikawa won the championship by three over Oahu Country Club pro Andrew Feldmann. Pukalani’s David Saka was low amateur.

The Dunes is built on the sand dunes of central Maui. It was modeled after the links courses of Ireland and Scotland, with minimal earth movement during construction. It plays 6,841 yards from the back tees and is the highest USGA slope-rated golf course on Maui.

For more information, visit open.mauigolf.org or call 808-873-0422 on Maui.


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