FIFTEEN PGA Tour pros are at the Kapalua Bay Resort on Maui this weekend for the Lincoln-Mercury Challenge. But the golfer drawing the most attention from the gallery is Roger Clemens, the five-time Cy Young winner and member of the World Series champion New York Yankees.
Clemens in the
swing at Kapalua
Clemens is one of the amateurs who will try to help his pro win the $15,000 top team prize. In addition, the pros will be playing 54 holes of stroke play starting today for the $75,000 top prize.
In the field are Scott Simpson, Tommy Armour III, Andy Bean, Brandel Chamblee, Paul Goydos, Nolan Henke, Brian Henninger, Barry Lane, Roger Maltbie, Tom Purtzer, Joey Sindelar, Kevin Sunderland, Kirk Triplett and Tommy Tolles.
For most of the pros, especially Simpson, it's a chance to pick up some unofficial money after a disappointing 1999 season.
Simpson missed the cut in 12 of 20 tournaments he entered this year as he finished 164th on the money list with $179,006. His best showing was a tie for seventh in the Buick International back in his hometown San Diego.
GOVERNOR'S CUP OF TEE: The 27th Governor John Burns Challenge Cup - pitting the state's best professional and amateur golfers - will be held Nov. 29-30 at the Koolau Golf Club.
Leading the 12-man amateur team will be Regan Lee and Brandan Kop, who finished 1-2 in point standings based on their performances in tournaments this year.
Lee won the state amateur stroke play championship, while Kop will be playing in his 18th Governor's Cup.
Also on the team are state amateur match-play champion Shane Hoshino, Michael Ukauka, Van Wright, Jonathan Ota, John Lundgren, Mark Chun, Larry Stubblefield, Del-Marc Fujita, Paul Kimura and Parker McLachlin.
McLachlin, a sophomore at UCLA, is replacing Damien Jamila, who is unable to participate this year because of a prior commitment.
Playing for the pros will be Casey Nakama, Lance Suzuki, Jerry Mullen, Beau Yokomoto, Ron Castillo Jr., Marc Orlowski, Brendan Moynahan, Jay Shannon, Kirk Nelson, Tommy Hines, Henry Sieradzki and Ed Tischler.
Greg Meyer, who won virtually every major event this year except for the Callaway State Open, is still bothered by a bad back and will not compete, according to pro team captain Ron Castillo Sr.
The pros won last year and now hold a 17-8 lead in the series with one tie.
TWO ISLE GOLFERS ADVANCE. Hawaii's Keoke Cotner and Aaron Bengoechea gained the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School next week at the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, Fla.
Cotner, a Kamehameha Schools graduate, finished in a tie for 12th in the second stage at the Deerwood Golf Club in Kingwood, Texas, with a 72-hole score of 288.
Veteran PGA pro Andy Bean came out of that field as the first alternate, while Hank Kuehne and Dave Ogrin both failed to qualify there.
Bengoechea, a Kaiser High graduate who now plays out of San Antonio, Texas, tied for sixth in the qualifying at the Bayonet & Black Horse Course in Seaside, Calif., with a 288.
He finished six strokes back of medalist Jeff Cook, an Indiana native who won the Pearl Open in February.
The top 35 qualifiers earn a playing card for next year.