Tuesday, September 24, 2002


Mona Kim-Lee teed off during her victory in the Hawaii State Women's Golf Association Senior Championship at Waikele.

Kim-Lee strikes again
for third state senior title

By Cindy Luis

Mona Kim-Lee plays a number of courses, but the Waikele Golf Club course is quickly becoming her favorite.

So is, too, the Hawaii State Women's Golf Association Senior Championship.

Kim-Lee has played in this tournament for three years and yesterday, for a third time in a row, she won. The 56-year-old carded a 1-over-par 73 to win the overall low gross honors at the 24th annual event, one stroke ahead of Bev Kim and Nani-Ling Paek (74) and two strokes better than Marcie Rudich (75).

A field of 132 competed in the event for women 50 and older. The tournament featured six age-group flights ranging from 50-55 to 72-80.

Kim-Lee said Waikele's short course was perfect for her style.

"My drives aren't as long as some of the other players and my short game was there," said Kim, playing with the lowest handicap in the event (3). "I play different courses and I really like Mid-Pac, but Waikele is the best course for me today."

Runner-up Kim's round included four bogeys, the last costing her a chance to win this event for the first time in seven tries.

"Mona was just more consistent today," said Kim, a 5-handicapper who won her flight. "The course played well, the winds were mild and the greens were very smooth.

"With just the seniors, play is a lot lighter and more relaxed. Some of the (open) tournaments had a little more pressure with all the young players doing so well."

It's been a good month for Kim. In addition to yesterday's second place, she won the Sept. 10 sectional qualifying tournament at Oahu Country Club to advance to the 41st USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship.

Hawaii's first alternate for the Oct. 5-10 tournament at Southern Pines, N.C., is Lily Yao, who shot an 88 yesterday. Yao replaces Lee-Kim, who will be unable to make the trip.

Kim and Yao are also co-chairs of the newly formed Hawaii State Women's Golf Foundation. The HSWGF was founded to help promote women's golf as a competitive sport and recreational activity in the state and will help fund local tournaments, state qualifying events for national tournaments, introductory workshops and seminars and travel stipends for women and juniors.

The HSWGF has raised more than $70,000 through its Founders Circle, a group of 14 individuals and nine businesses. Its initial target of $50,000 has since been raised to $100,000 for this year.

"We've had a very good season so far, especially with the Foundation getting off the ground," said HSWGA president Sally Harper.

The season closes with the HSWGA State Tournament, Nov. 9-10, at Makaha West. For more information, call Kahili Chong (988-2222) or Pauline Tallet (239-7623)

Notes: Other flight low-gross winners yesterday were: Winifred Jones (championship, 86), Johanna Kaai (A, 87), Priscilla Mendonca (B, 84), Terri Lui (C, 81) and Paek (74, E). Five-time event winner Yoshiko Koyama finished second in the A flight with an 89. ... The low-net winners were: Dorothy Seki (championship, 66), Frances Nakagawa (A, 70), Sue Hanson (B, 70), Joan Machado (C, 68), Chayne Orscher (D, 72) and Sue Wanlass (E, 67). ... Also on the calendar is the inaugural Waikoloa Women's Golf Challenge, Oct. 25-27, a benefit for the HSWGF, at the Waikoloa Beach Resort. Among those entered are former University of Hawaii player Cindy Rarick, who will offer a clinic on Oct. 26 for tournament participants. The cost is $775, including the clinic, hotel, all meals and a spa treatment. The format is a net best ball for twosomes who will be paired by a blind draw. The deadline is Oct. 7. For more information, contact Dave Pritchett at the Waikoloa (808-886-5172).

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