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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Friday, January 14, 2000



Sony Open Hawaii

Punahou grad’s first shot
in the PGA one to forget

Parker McLachlin will never forget his first PGA Tour shot. It went OB.

As the 1997 Punahou School graduate stood over the ball on the 10th tee (he went off the back side), he became acutely aware of the rousing ovation from family and friends.

Unfortunately, those applause kept going and going like the Energizer bunny. So much so, McLachlin almost stepped back like a quarterback under center trying to quell the crowd noise.

"I should have," the UCLA sophomore said. "But I stood over it for maybe 15 seconds and hit out of bounds to the right. The applause made me nervous. It was the first time in five years and maybe 100 rounds on that hole that I've ever hit it OB."

McLachlin went on to card a double bogey, not exactly the way the only amateur in the field wanted to begin his career. Fortunately for him, he was able to play 1-under the rest of the way to finish with a respectable 71.

He exited the course with a 40-foot birdie, which speaks volumes considering the way he began the day four hours earlier.

"Parker showed a lot of character," said father Chris McLachlin, who served as his caddy. "He only had one more bogey and two birdies the rest of the way."

McLachlin had to work hard just to get an opportunity to play in this event. And if someone else hadn't withdrawn because of a scheduling conflict, McLachlin wouldn't have had the opportunity to see how he matches up with the boys on the Tour.

"I proved to myself that they aren't better than I am," Parker McLachlin said. "That gives me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow's round."

McLachlin wasn't the only player with local ties to post a good number. David Ishii fired an opening-round 68, five strokes off the pace set by Paul Azinger. The 1990 Hawaiian Open winner is the director of golf at Pearl Country Club. This is his only scheduled PGA Tour event.

Kaiser High product Aaron Bengoechea fired an even-par 70. He eagled the par-5 ninth on the final hole of the day by holing an 80-foot putt off the back fringe. Hilo's Kevin Hayashi managed a 76, Hawaii Prince pro Tommy Hines shot an 80, Greg Meyer of Pearl Country Club had a 72 and Waikoloa pro Peter Jacobsen opened with a 68.

Associated Press
Gary Nicklaus said his round of 69 was "good,
but my ball-striking was pretty suspect."

Nicklaus goes one down

The sun was fading fast as Gary Nicklaus finished his first round as a full-fledged member of the PGA Tour with a 69.

He missed a sliding 6-footer for birdie on the 18th, but didn't let it bother him.

"My score was good, but my ball-striking was pretty suspect most of the day," said Nicklaus, who has made only two cuts in 26 previous events. "I got a couple of birdies late to help salvage the round."

The 29-year-old qualified for the PGA Tour last year on his ninth try by finishing in a tie for 12th overall. He played in the final group with the winds up and the greens crisp, but wasn't surprised by his solid score.

"Am I surprised with that? No," Nicklaus said. "Do I expect to shoot that? Yes. If I don't expect to shoot that kind of score, I might as well get on the airplane and go home. That's what we're out here for, to shoot good golf."

By Paul Arnett, Star-Bulletin

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