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Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Friday, December 1, 2000



PGA Tour: it’s all
about Tiger Woods

IN golf, there's Tiger Woods and the rest of the world. Or is it the rest of the universe? Not surprisingly, he was named the U.S. PGA Tour player of the year for the third time in four years.

This is after he was named the PGA of America player of the year and winner of the Vardon Trophy with the lowest scoring average (67.79) for the second straight year.

And in the latest world rankings, Woods stayed No. 1 for the 67th straight week!

With 10 victories worldwide, the latest being the PGA Grand Slam of Golf at the Poipu Bay Resort on Kauai, and more than $10 million in earnings, including a record $9,188, 321 on the PGA Tour, all you can say is Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.

With his third money title in only his fourth full season on the tour, Woods, who will be 25 on Dec. 30, had the greatest season ever in golf.

He led six of 10 statistical categories and set records in five of them -- scoring, greens in regulation, eagles, birdies and an all-around score.

Even the New York Yankees aren't that good.

Although, now with the addition of free agent pitcher Mike Mussina, the Yankees might become the Tiger Woods of Major League Baseball.

Among the other awards voted by the tour members was comeback player of the year, won by Paul Azinger. The "Zinger" did it by winning the Sony Open in Hawaii, his first victory on the PGA tour since his recovery from cancer in 1993.

It was certainly a heart-warming victory for Azinger at the Waialae Country Club, one of his favorite venues.

There's still talk that after 2002, the Sony Open will be moved to a different site than Waialae, host of the PGA Tour event since 1965.

That maybe it'll be the impressive but still unopened Royal Kunia Golf Course, designed by Robin Nelson.

I hope not. It's a great course, but there's no support facilities such as clubhouse. And parking will be a mess. No way it can draw the number of spectators that Waialae can, despite all of its parking problems. It's just not convenient.

PGA Tour officials did look over the Royal Kunia course over the weekend and an evaluation is forthcoming.



There aren't that many local events celebrating a 28th anniversary, but the Gov. John A. Burns Challenge Cup did this week.

The pros won for the third straight year to take a 19-8-1 series lead in the two-day tournament that first began in 1973.

The Koolau Golf Club will host it again next September, but here's hoping that other Oahu courses can host the event. It would be a good public relations move.

It's an event worthy of such support.



Nobody was more elated than Lori Castillo Planos that the U.S. Women's Amateur will allow Hawaii to hold its first sectional qualifying next July 17 at the Mid-Pacific Country Club.

"It's a first for Hawaii," said Planos. "Previously, Hawaii golfers had to go to a sectional qualifying on the mainland." It could be annually if there is enough participation to warrant it, Planos said.

The sectional qualifying is open to golfers with a handicap of 5.4 or lower. For more information, go online to



The fifth annual Wally Yonamine Foundation golf tournament will be held Dec. 29 at the Pearl Country Club. For more information, call Dean Yonamine at 676-8867 or 530-7242.

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