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3 Top-20 teams to compete in Burns event

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A trio of Top-20 golf teams will join four Hawaii teams and nine others at next week’s 35th annual John A. Burns Intercollegiate, at Turtle Bay Resort.

The University of Hawaii is tournament host, with Hawaii Pacific, Brigham Young-Hawaii and Hawaii-Hilo also in the field. Ninth-ranked Texas A&M is playing, along with 16th-ranked Virginia and 19th-ranked California. The top individuals are SMU’s Kelly Kraft, No. 27 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, and 28th-ranked Jordan Russell, from Texas A&M.

Teams will play at the Palmer Course Wednesday and next Thursday, with the final round at the Fazio Course next Friday. Golfers go off the first tee from 9 a.m. for the first round, and the first and 10th tees at 8 a.m. the final two days.

The Rainbows are coming off an 18th-place finish at last week’s Ameri Ari Invitational on the Big Island. The lone bright spot was junior TJ Kua, whose 14th-place finish was enough to get him WAC Golfer of the Week honors.

"It was an eye-opener to the boys that if you don’t practice in the off-season and you come back cold you are falling behind," said UH coach Ronn Miyashiro. "The guys that put in their time did pretty well."

Kua and David Saka, who was sick last week, are playing in this week’s Hawaii Pearl Open. Saka played the Sony Open in Hawaii last month, earning the amateur exemption in December.

Miyashiro hopes the Rainbows’ familiarity with one of their practice courses and a renewed focus on hard work will be enough to push his team to the middle of the pack.

HSJGA REGISTRATION

Registration for the 2011 Hawaii State Junior Golf Association season is open. The HSJGA’s 13th year kicks off with the 14-under Junior Tour Series next month.

Membership is open to girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 18 who can "demonstrate a basic understanding of the game." Cost is $35 a year.

The fee includes the opportunity to compete in statewide events, a membership handbook, one-year USGA Junior Membership, college workshops, instructional clinics, rules workshops, a current Rules of Golf book, bag tag, GHIN handicap and participation in other HSJGA programs.

Golfers can register at HSJGA.org. For more information, contact HSJGA Tournament Director Parker Anderson at 808-635-4642.

NOTES

» Champions Tour President Michael Stevens is a guest on Sunday’s Emily T. Gail Show, at 6 p.m. on AM850 Hilo/AM790 Kona. Tour player Fred Funk and his son/caddie Taylor will be guests, along with D.A. and Matt Weibring, Tom Lehman and Hale Irwin.

» Swinging for DARE, the inaugural fundraising golf tournament for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, will be April 8 at Pearl Country Club. Format is three-person scramble with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Cost is $150 per golfer. For more information, visit darehawaii.org or call 341-1182.

» The newest PGA members of the Aloha Section are Ed Angulo (Dunes at Maui Lani), Trent Barlow (Ko Olina), Matthew Leininger (Waikoloa Village), Emmett Markulis (Kapalua Plantation), Sutee Nitakorn (Kaanapali), Garrett Okamura (Dunes at Maui Lani), Stephen Peeren (Puakea) and Robert Respicio (Mid-Pacific Country Club). All gained their Class A status in 2010.

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