[ GOLF ]

Veterans not ready
to make way
for young guns

This week's inaugural SBS Open
at Turtle Bay Resort features
a field steeped in tradition

It would be easy to make this first full field-event of 2005 about a youth movement that's supposed to save the LPGA Tour from itself. You could cast aside the established veterans who helped set the table for the next generation of golfers, who are barely old enough to drive a cart.

Tee times


At Turtle Bay Resort, Palmer Course
First tee
7:10 a.m.--Katie Alison, Joo Mi Kim, Beth Allen. 7:21--Deb Richard, Marcy Hart, Young Jo. 7:32--Leslie Spalding, Joanne Morley, Denise Killeen.
7:43--Beth Bauer, Audra Burks, Becky Iverson. 7:54--Tracy Hanson, Cindy Rarick, Kris Tschetter. 8:05--Pamela Kerrigan, Mee Lee, Naree Song.
8:16--Michelle Estill, Hilary Lunke, Jean Bartholomew. 8:27--Hee-Won Han, Michelle McGann, Carin Koch. 8:38--Young Kim, Wendy Doolan, Seol-An Jeon.
8:49--Danielle Ammaccapane, Soo-Yun Kang, Kelly Robbins. 9--Moira Dunn, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew. 11:40--Juli Inkster, Grace Park, Shi Hyun Ahn. 11:51--Mi Hyun Kim, Aree Song, Lorena Ochoa.
12:02 p.m.--Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, Meg Mallon, Reilley Rankin. 12:13--Beth Daniel, Laura Diaz, Jeong Jang. 12:24--Kristi Albers, Brandie Burton, Giulia Sergas.
12:35--Karen Weiss, Amy Hung, Beth Bader. 12:46--Cathy Johnston-Forbes, Nancy Harvey, Dina Ammaccapane. 12:57--Yu Ping Lin, Sae-Hee Son, Catrin Nilsmark.
1:08--Sung Ah Yim, Jordan Cherebetiu, Paula Marti. 1:19--Bernadette Luse, Angela Jerman, Riko Higashio. 1:30--Aram Cho, Celeste Troche, Lindsey Wright.

Tenth tee
7:10 a.m.
--II Mi Chung, Cindy Figg-Currier, Marilyn Lovander. 7:21--Joellyn Crooks, Emily Bastel, Hana Kim. 7:32--Patricia Baxter-Johnson, Ji Yeon Lee, Mikaela Parmlid.
7:43--Natalie Tucker, Jenna Daniels, Pearl Sinn-Bonanni. 7:54--Erica Blasberg, Nicole Jeray, Johanna Head. 8:05--Malinda Johnson, A.J. Eathorne, Lee Ann Walker-Cooper.
8:16--Angela Stanford, Kate Golden, Chris Johnson. 8:27--Heather Daly-Donofrio, Jennifer Rosales, Cristie Kerr. 8:38--Natalie Gulbis, Kelli Kuehne, Dorothy Delasin.
8:49--Young-A Yang, Siew-Ai Lim, Pat Hurst. 9--Gloria Park, Sherri Steinhauer, Liselotte Neumann. 11:40--Jill McGill, Wendy Ward, Michele Redman. 11:51--Candie Kung, Tina Barrett, Janice Moodie.
12:02 p.m.--Jamie Hullett, Donna Andrews, Rosie Jones. 12:13--Christina Kim, Becky Morgan, Candy Hannemann. 12:24--Lorie Kane, Emilee Klein, Heather Bowie.
12:35--Stephanie Louden, Kristen Samp, Mhairi McKay. 12:46--Nicole Perrot, Leta Lindley, Soo Young Moon. 12:57--Eva Dahllof, Birdie Kim, Anna Acker-Macosko.
1:08--Sherri Turner, Jimin Kang, Maggie Will. 1:19--Paula Creamer, Isabelle Beisiegel, Brittany Lincicome. 1:30--Catherine Cartwright, Na Yeon Choi, Michelle Wie.

But that would be a mistake.

A quick survey of the 132 golfers set to tee it up tomorrow morning in the inaugural SBS Open at Turtle Bay Resort reveals a field steeped in tradition, full of major champions and arguably one of the best groups of professional women golfers to visit the island chain.

Four of the top five money winners from a year ago, including Kraft Nabisco champ Grace Park and U.S. Open champion Meg Mallon, will go tee to green for the $150,000 top prize in this $1 million event.

Park, who played junior golf on Oahu as a youth, finished second to Annika Sorenstam on the money list last year with $1.53 million. Like Park, Lorena Ochoa had two victories on tour as she placed third on the money list with $1.45 million. Mallon finished fourth with three wins that earned her $1.36 million and Cristie Kerr also managed three victories en route to pocketing nearly $1.2 million.

Sorenstam and Korean favorite Se Ri Pak missing from the scene removes a little luster from the tournament, but not much. In all, 24 of the top 30 winners from a year ago are here as well as three of the top five career money winners, including Juli Inkster and Beth Daniel.

The 44-year-old Inkster has won seven major titles, while the 48-year-old Daniel has managed one major championship. Inkster has captured 30 LPGA events in her storied career. Daniel has 33. Both were in full swing before many of the younger players knew which end of a driver to hold. And both finished among the top 30 money winners in 2004.

Still, when you look around the LPGA world, it's the youngsters who are stealing the show. Of the 33 rookies joining the tour, the headline act is 18-year-old Paula Creamer. She finished first at the 2004 LPGA Final Qualifying School and second to Kerr at the ShopRite Classic as an amateur.

She is one of five teenagers expected to make a lot of noise this year, including 18-year-old twins Aree and Naree Song. Naree Song made the field on Monday by shooting a 1-under 71 to finish first in the qualifying tournament.

Her more famous sister, Aree, finished second in the LPGA Rookie of the Year race. Twice she placed second at tournaments last year en route to earning $426,327, good enough for 28th overall.

And the recent Asian influx doesn't end there. South Korea's 19-year-old sensation Sae-Hee Son is set to follow in the famous footsteps of Pak, Park, Mi-Hyun Kim, Hee-Won Han and Shi Hyun Ahn. Last year, Park, Kim and Han finished in the top 10 on tour, earning nearly $3.3 million among them.

As good as they are, Son may be the best of the bunch some day. She earned her way on tour by finishing in a tie for seventh at the Q-school. After opening with a shaky 75, Son shot 6-under par over the final four rounds to earn her tour card.

Not that the Americans are being left out in this youth movement. Joining Creamer on the rookie circuit is 18-year-old Brittany Lincicome. Last year, this pair grabbed many of the U.S. Open headlines. Lincicome led after the first round with a 5-under 66. Creamer wound up in a tie for 13th as Mallon captured her fourth major.

And let's not forget the most famous 15-year-old golfer in the world. Local favorite Michelle Wie has played the Arnold Palmer-designed course on more than one occasion. Her local knowledge may not rival Waialae Country Club, but the fact she has swung a club or two in the wind and rain that can sweep across the northernmost point of Oahu, should come in handy.

A wrist injury forced Wie out of the Pearl Open earlier this month, but she appears none the worse for wear. She will play in all four LPGA majors this year and could be a contender here come Saturday.

The 54-hole event begins at 7 a.m. tomorrow with the first round set to end around 4 p.m. The Golf Channel will broadcast all three rounds from 1:30-4 p.m. Hawaii time. The cut will occur after Friday's round. Tickets are available at the resort.

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