Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Friday, September 17, 1999

Golf will get only
half the coverage
it deserves

OCT. 30, 1999. Who would have thought that Armageddon had a date.

That Saturday will see the last issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, ending a 117-year run. The Star-Bulletin also has been my only full-time employer since 1959.

So, bear with me for feeling a little down right now. This has been a great newspaper to work for.

The subject, though, is golf, isn't it? So I'd better get with it before Managing Editor Dave Shapiro gets on my case.

But what can he do? Fire me?

Actually, I feel a little guilty right now attending press conferences for golf tournaments that I won't be covering.

On Tuesday -- before the news broke that the Star-Bulletin's days were numbered -- one was held announcing that the LPGA Tour was adding a second official event in Hawaii.

It's the LPGA Takefuji Classic, scheduled for next March 2-4 at the Kona Country Club on the Big Island.

The addition of a second tour stop will give stability to the Sunrise Hawaiian Ladies Open at Kapolei. With two events, more of the LPGA touring pros might now find it worthwhile to come here.

WITHOUT another event, the HLO would have been on shakier ground. And chances are excellent that both LPGA events will be held on consecutive weeks the next two years.

Of course, you won't read about it in the Star-Bulletin.

Ditto the Callaway Hawaii State Open, which had a press conference yesterday for its tournament Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 at the Hawaii Prince Course.

Then, there's the long-awaited press conference for the PGA Grand Slam on Golf, twice postponed but now scheduled for next Tuesday.

Tiger will be there in November, but not the Star-Bulletin.

Fortunately, I can be at the Poipu Bay Resort as a legitimate reporter to watch Tiger Woods try to win the $1-million event for the second year in a row. I secured a free-lance assignment to write about the PGA Grand Slam before the news of the Star-Bulletin's demise.

The last golf tournament that I'll be covering is the EMC Kaanapali Classic, scheduled the weekend before Star-Bulletin's D-Day.

But, sigh, no more Mercedes Championships, no more Sony Open in Hawaii, no more MasterCard Championship, no more Senior Skins Game. Or the two ladies' events after that.

Oh, well. It was a good gig while it lasted.

GOLF is more than high-profiled professional tour events.

Aloha Section PGA tournaments, pro events such as the Pearl Open and the Rainbow Open, as well as the leading amateur championships -- the Manoa Cup, State Amateur, Jennie K. Invitational -- will now have half the coverage that they once had.

Happy 2000? Not quite, for local golf coverage.

Still, life and golf shall go on.

Also, that great money-machine -- the benefit golf tournament -- will continue without letup.

One of the biggest year-end benefits is on tap three weeks from now -- the 15th annual Danny Kaleikini Foundation Tournament at the Pearl Country Club.

Proceeds from this year's event will be donated to the Lunalilo Home and the Oahu Junior Golf Association.

Kaleikini says that Al Faccinto, president of Mirage International of Las Vegas, continues to be the big platinum sponsor.

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

E-mail to Sports Editor

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