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January 2017
HAWAII ON TOUR Keeping Tabs on Hawaii’s TOUR players
Tony Finau, who has family ties on Oahu’s North Shore and has represented the Turtle Bay Resort on TOUR for several years, recently finished his second year on TOUR, having won in Puerto Rico and collected $1,814,790 in total money winnings for the season. The long-hitting Finau accumulated two top ten finishes and ten top 25 finishes to finish the 2015-2016 season 45th on the Fedex Cup points list.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions

The PGA TOUR returns to Kapalua Plantation Course January 5-8, 2017 with one of their premier events, the Tournament of Champions. Last year, Jordan Spieth dominated the field in winning the title, finishing with an eight shot lead at 30-under-par. Patrick Reed finished second at 22-under-par. Spieth earned $1,180,000 for the win.

TJ Kua Wins 2016 Hawaii State Open

On December 18th, TJ Kua captured his first Mauna Lani Resort Hawaii State Open title as severe weather caused cancelation of the third and final round. Kua's 36-hole total of 137 on rounds of 69-68, edged out runner-up David Fink by a single shot, earning him $10,000 in prize money. Tom Sovay, PGA won the Senior division with 69-68 (137), collecting $4,000. Nicole Sakamoto won the Women's division with scores of 71-71 (142), earning $1,000. The event is expected to return to Mauna Lani next December.

Sony Open in Hawaii

The 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii will be held January 12-15 at Waialae Country Club. Fabian Gomez fired a final round 62 and beat Brandt Snedeker in a playoff to capture the 2016 Sony Open in Hawaii title. Gomez, 37, of Argentina, earned $1,044,000 and became the first international player to win the even since K.J. Choi won in 2008.
Rolfing to Build Golf Course with Tiger Woods

Kapalua's Mark Rolfing is expected to team up with Tiger Woods and others to build a $30 million urban golf course on the South Side of Chicago. Rolfing, who is currently a TV golf analyst, grew up in Chicago and graduated from Northern Illinois. He would go on to become head pro at Maui's Kapalua Resort in the 1970's, where he still lives. Rolfing said that he never dreamed Tiger would do this, but thinks that it has a chance to really make a difference - that it's about youth and letting kids play free. The course is to be adjacent to the Barack Obama Presidential Center.
Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai

The Champions Tour will kick off its 2017 season with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship hosted at the Big Island's spectacular Hualalai Golf Club, January 19-21. Duffy Waldorf captured last year's title by making a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole to defeat Tom Lehman by one stroke. Waldorf, 53, finished with an 18-under-par 198, having played all 54 holes without a bogey. His victory was worth $300,000.
Fall/Winter 2017 editions of the Hawaii Golf Guide are currently available for FREE at airports, hotels and golf courses throughout the islands.
LPGA LOTTE Championship

The 2017 LPGA LOTTE Championship will likely be held at the Ko Olina Resort in April of 2017, featuring the world's best women golfers. Confirmed dates were not available in time for this publication. Australia's Minjee Lee overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round to win last year's event. The 19-year-old played the last eight holes in six under par, chipping in for an eagle at the 13th hole on the way to a bogey-free, eight under par 64. Lee's 16-under-par total was one better than In-Gee Chun and Katie Burnett.
Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame to Induct Brenda Rego & Hal Okita

In February, the Aloha Section PGA will honor Brenda Rego and Hal Okita with induction into the 2017 Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame at the annual Ho'olaule'a Awards Banquet.

Brenda Rego was raised in Kunia with her brothers Art, Darrell and Clyde — and they would all become highly accomplished golf professionals. Clyde was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously in 2012. Following a dominant amateur career and two years competing on the LPGA Tour, Rego came home to begin a PGA Professional career, eventually becoming Hawaii's first female Class A PGA Professional and head pro at the Wailea Blue golf course.

After a 27-year army career, Hal Okita spent 12 years in charge of Schofield's recreation services and oversight of the three Army golf courses. Later, Okita helped develop Royal Kunia and served as their general manager, then became GM at Mid-Pacific Country Club. He has served as executive director of the Hawaii State Golf Association, and has volunteered his time as a rules official for many years.

Rego and Okita, both of which are known for their kindness and humility, richly deserve their honors.

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