Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

P R O _ G O L F

tourney coming
to Big Island

The Takefuji Classic will be
played on Kona Country Club's
Ocean Course, beginning
March 2-4, 2000

By Bill Kwon


The LPGA Tour will add a second official tournament in Hawaii, beginning March 2-4 at the Kona Country Club on the Big Island.

Called the LPGA Takefuji Classic, the 54-hole event will have an $800,000 purse with the winner getting $125,000. The field will include 130 LPGA pros plus two sponsor's exemptions.

The tournament will end on a Saturday so that it can be shown on television in Japan. Tentative plans call for the Golf Channel to televise the final two rounds nationally.

"It's great for the people of the Big Island and the entire state of Hawaii," said Gov. Ben Cayetano, who attended a press conference announcing the event yesterday at the Waikiki Regent Hotel.

The Takefuji Classic will be held two weeks after the Sunrise Hawaiian Ladies Open at the Kapolei Golf Course, scheduled for Feb. 17-19.

Sandwiched by the two Hawaii events is the Australian Ladies Masters, which will include 70 LPGA players.

Matsujiro Kawana, president of AJ Sports in Los Angeles, said there's a possibility that the Hawaiian Ladies Open and LPGA Takefuji Classic may be held on back-to-back weekends in 2001 and 2002.

Takefuji Corporation, a Japanese consumer finance company, has agreed to underwrite the LPGA event for three years, beginning with 2000 when the LPGA Tour celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The par-72 Kona Country Club's Ocean Course has been a site of several unofficial LPGA pro-am events sponsored by Ping.



Bullet EMC Kaanapali Senior Classic
Oct. 17-19, Royal Kaanapali North Course.

Bullet PGA Grand Slam of Golf
Nov. 23-24, Poipu Bay Resort Course.


Bullet Mercedes Championship
Jan. 6-9, Kapalua Plantation Course.

Bullet Sony Open in Hawaii
Jan. 13-16, Waialae Country Club.

Bullet MasterCard Championship
Jan. 21-23, Hualalai Golf Course

Bullet Senior Skins Game
Jan. 30-31, Mauna Lani Resort.

Bullet Sunrise Hawaiian Ladies Open
Feb. 24-26, Kapolei Golf Course

Bullet LPGA Takefuji Classic
March 2-4, Kona Country Club

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