Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Friday, April 30, 1999

Seki chooses
team goal over
his own glory

PUNAHOU senior Jim Seki finds himself in the unique position of defending two tournament championships next week.

Of course, he can't be in two places at the same time, so Seki reluctantly has to pass up one of them - the Navy-Marine Invitational.

Instead, Seki will be defending his individual title in the Hawaii State High School Athletic Association boys' tournament at the Waikoloa King's Course on the Big Island.

Last year, the two events didn't conflict. So Seki played both of them on consecutive weeks and wound up in the winner's circle each time.

What's really unfortunate for Seki is that the state tournament and the Navy-Marine Invitational will conflict only one day. The state tournament's final round will be held on Friday (May 7), the same day as the first round of the N-M Invitational.

"At first I was torn," Seki said. "But I want to play in the state. I'm not interested in the individual part. I want us to win the team title because I'm a senior."

The 36-hole state girls' event will be played next Wednesday and Thursday at the Hapuna Course, also on the Big Island's Kohala Coast.

A total of 120 boys and 52 girls are competing in the state championships, which again will be sponsored by local pro David Ishii.

Seki is favored to repeat as the individual boys' champion, while Waiakea is the school to beat for both the boys' and girls' team championships. This will be the first year of competition for the girls' team title, since the state tournament had been co-ed in previous years.

HALL OF FAME GOLF: Ko Olina's Mark Chapleski defends his title as the 36-hole GTE/Hawaiian Tel Hall of Fame Championship will be held Sunday and Monday at Kapalua's Plantation Course .

Among the leading challengers in the 46-player field are Greg Meyer and Kevin Hayashi, who finished one-two in the Mid-Pacific Open two weeks ago. Also, 1997 winner Brendan Moynahan, who's now at the Experience at Koele on Lanai, and Kapalua's David Pritchett, who won in 1996.

GOLF CARTS NOT MANDATORY: Last Monday was the first day that golf carts were no longer mandatory at the City's Ewa Villages and West Loch golf courses.

Groups of four or fewer players may now choose to walk with a golf bag or a pull cart. And a 90-degree rule has been adopted at Ewa Villages, where previously, players had to keep their carts on the golf path.

The latter change will definitely speed up play. And I know a lot of golfers resisted playing the sporty Ewa Villages course because golf carts had to stay on the paths.

As for West Loch, it's doubtful if the majority of golfers plan to walk all 18 holes instead of taking a golf cart. On Monday morning, only one intrepid golfer decided not to take a golf cart.

With the front nine closed for maintenance that day, the golfer, Keith Otani of Mililani, had to walk to the 10th tee to play his first hole.

Never mind that he had to walk about a half-mile from the clubhouse, through the underpass across Ft. Weaver Road , before he could tee it up.

Now, that's a walker.

SONY UPS ANTE: The winner of the 2000 Sony Open in Hawaii will get $522,000 - $54,000 more than the inaugural winner Jeff Sluman received. The $2.9 million Sony Open purse places it among the top 50 percent of the 47 official PGA Tour tournaments scheduled next year.

Bill Kwon has been writing
about sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1959.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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