Nearly 200 golfers will be scrambling on the Palmer and Fazio Courses next week in the Turtle Bay Resort Hawaii State Open.
The field is loaded with former champions (Jesse Mueller, Kevin Hayashi, Katie Kempter, Cyd Okino, Nick Mason) and PGA Tour champions (Dean Wilson and David Ishii), who are also former champions.
Tadd Fujikawa is back home to play, along with Lisa (Anderson) LaFollette, Jim Seki, Alika Bell, Mari Chun, Sam Cyr and David Fink. Top juniors like Rudy Cabalar Jr., Allisen Corpuz and Mariel Galdiano are committed, along with Champions Tour player Dave Eichelberger.
The tournament moved to Turtle Bay last year. It started in the 1920s as the Hawaiian Open. That became a PGA Tour event in 1965 and the State Open was brought back in 1974.
A year ago, Mueller won by seven over Wilson. Mueller, from Arizona, had but one bogey in three days and closed with an 8-under-par 64. Cyr earned a share of third as did Fink, this year’s Manoa Cup champion, who was low amateur. Fujikawa was another shot back.
The 54-hole tournament starts next Thursday with a noon pro-am. The first two rounds tee off at 8 a.m., with the open division at the Palmer and the women, seniors and A flights at Fazio.
Kaneko tied for sixth
Sacred Hearts graduate Ayaka Kaneko is tied for sixth after yesterday’s opening round of the LPGA’s Final Qualifying Tournament. Kaneko shot 3-under-par 69 at LPGA International, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Wailuku’s Shayna Miyajima has a share of 47th after firing a 73. Former Hilo resident Kimberly Kim is tied for 17th at 71.
The field of 120 is cut to the low 70 and ties after the third of five rounds. The top 20 after Sunday’s final round earn LPGA cards, with the next 20 earning status for 2011. There are golfers from 20 countries and 26 states.
Chiarella, Isagawa win at Wailea
Maui’s Alex Chiarella and Cassy Isagawa collected the overall championships at last weekend’s Haliimaile Pineapple Company Tournament of Champions. They also clinched Hawaii State Junior Golf Association player of the year honors.
The tournament at Wailea Emerald concluded the HSJGA season and was the last chance to earn player of the year points.