By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, July 7, 1998

Pak’ing pizazz into
the LPGA Open

Mug shot IT was out of the water and into the money for Se Ri Pak in yesterday's exciting conclusion to the overtime Women's U.S. Open golf tourney. Her big save on the 18th hole enabled her to tie tenacious Jenny Chuasiriporn and then go on to beat her in the second playoff hole. The money part was actually academic since, as an amateur, Chuasiriporn couldn't win a penny anyway. So it was pride that propelled Pak to win, and all Jenny lost was a title ... A similar fate befell Nick Cutter at a Waialae golf tournament. He hit a hole-in-one on a par-3 where his normal prize would be a car, but since he's president of Cutter Automotive, all he got was a $10 bill and a six pack of beer. And custom has it that anyone carding an ace buy a round of drinks for everyone in the tournament, so that $10 didn't stretch far for Cutter ...

RESTAURATEUR Aaron Placourakis (Nicholas Nickolas, Sarento's) is a real straight arrow, and here's a couple of reasons why. His wife, Tina, a former beauty queen, brought home some gold the other day, and not any that had been mined in "them thar hills." Tina, a black belt in karate, won three gold medals in karate, sparring and weapons at the Karate Nationals in Orlando, Fla. Their son, Jesse, also won big, claiming two golds and a silver in his division. You better believe that Aaron's very nice to them.

Whopper of a Saturday

THERE was more than the usual fireworks in the life of illusionist and Burger King pitchman John Hirokawa on the Fourth of July. For starters, wife Nadine presented him with their third child, a boy who at 7 pounds couldn't really qualify as a Whopper, but who'll forever be known as "Born on the Fourth of July." The Hirokawas are big believers in celebrating holidays. Their eldest, Meghan, was born on Memorial Day weekend in 1994 and son Bryson arrived on Thanksgiving Day in '95. It was a bittersweet moment for the Hirokawas last weekend, as John's father, George, who died in May, was also born on July 4 ...

A RETIRED member of HPD read in the Star-Bulletin's Internet edition my mention of ex-HPD Chief Doug Gibb moving to Iowa. He e-mailed me, "I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that Chief Gibb is moving to Iowa." He relates the horrors of his relocation to the mainland -- chopping wood, readying for winter and then dealing with snow. He ends with a personal note to Chief Gibb: "Tell him I think he is nuts!" ...

PRESIDENT Bill Clinton wasn't the only one checking out China recently. Just preceding Clinton's visit there were Wei-Wei Ojiri and Eric Chandler for the "Hawaii Festival." They staged what they hope (but I doubt) was the first hula on the Great Wall of China as danced by Miss Honolulu Trini Kaopuiki, and models Tricia Fujikawa and Katie Lopes ... Speaking of Chandler, he and partner Takeo have been appointed heads of the Miss Hawaii USA program, with the next pageant set for October ...

Any out-of-towners?

FOREIGN visitors are fairly common among their Royal Hawaiian Surf Room audiences, but entertainers Keith and Carmen Haugen canvassed the room the other night and were amazed at how many countries were represented along with the usual mainland, Canadian and Japan visitors. They had guests from Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Russia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia. Most were military, police and other government reps from Pacific Rim nations here for a Waikiki conference, though not related to RimPac. ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

Contact Dave by e-mail: donnelly@kestrok.com.

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