Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Friday, August 4, 2000

Wie, 10, has
got the game

LOCAL golf fans got their first look at Michelle Wie, the 10-year-old golfing sensation, in the 54-hole HSWGA Stroke Play Championship at the Mid-Pacific Country Club this week.

Wie, the youngest amateur ever to compete in a USGA championship tournament, finished third behind Kauai's Rachel Kyono and reigning Jennie K. champion Bobbi Kokx.

It was Wie's first appearance in a major tournament locally and she impressed the gallery and her peers with her ball-striking ability and especially her poise, which is remarkable for one so young.

And, in a word, she's got game.

"I was 10 when I first started," said Kyono, "and I was playing the little courses."

"I played with her the first two days and I forgot she's just 10 when I watched her play," added Anna Umemura, a two-time HSWGA stroke-play champion, who also was just 10 when she first took up golf.

"She's incredible for 10. She's way ahead of a lot of golfers. She looks like she's having fun, which is important."

The future certainly appears to be a great one for Wie, who will be 11 in October.

Interestingly, when she enters the sixth grade at Punahou School next month, Michelle will probably be the best wahine golfer on campus. But she won't be eligible to play high school golf for the Buffanblu until she becomes a ninth-grader.


MORE JUNIOR GOLF: More than 140 golfers representing 10 countries and 17 states will compete in the second World Junior Masters Championships next week at the Makaha West Golf Course.

The 54-hole tournament will start Tuesday. There will be winners in seven age divisions. And the young golfers will be in for a treat. They'll be welcomed by golf legend Chi Chi Rodriguez. Mark Kalilikane is the event's executive director.


PRO TO WATCH: With Greg Meyer not returning to defend his title, the player to watch in the Aloha Section PGA AT&T Stroke Play Championship starting Monday is Kevin Hayashi.

The Hilo pro won $2,559 and finished in a tie for ninth in the latest Golden Bear Tour event in Florida yesterday.

Hayashi also leads in points for player-of-the-year honors with 480 points based on performances in local Aloha Section PGA tournaments.

Other pros entered include Kapalua's Doug Bohn and Makena's Brian Sasada, who are second and third in the point standings, Ron Castillo Jr. and Beau Yokomoto, the 2000 Mid-Pac Open champion.


GOLF AND FISHING? For the first time in its 41-year history, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament hosted a golf tournament for officials, VIPS and the media.

The inaugural event was held Wednesday at the Pete and Perry Dye-designed Big Island Country Club course near Waimea. HIBT founder Peter Fithian hopes to make it an annual event.

Golf and fishing aren't an odd pairing for the HIBT when you consider its history.

Fithian started the tournament in Kailua-Kona shortly after arriving in Hawaii from the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters. He always used the Masters as an example of how the HIBT should be conducted.

The BICC is a challenging course. Its signature hole is the par-3 17th with an island green that's the exact replica of Dye's TPC at Sawgrass Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

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

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin