Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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Hawaii State Open offers golfers chance ‘best’ in state

KOHALA COAST — Whoever takes home the title at the Hawaii State Open will have a little extra spending money in their pocket with Christmas just around the corner.

But while the legendary golf tournament offers a healthy prize purse of $60,000, the ultimate reward the players are seeking is the chance to have their name etched in the history of the nearly century-old tournament. Some bragging rights to be known as “Hawaii’s best golfer” doesn’t hurt either.

The Hawaii State Open tees off Friday at Mauna Lani Resort and will welcome a field of 186 golfers who will be playing on both the North and South courses. Play wraps up on Sunday.

First played in 1920 as the Hawaiian State Open, the event eventually became a PGA Tour stop known to the golfing world as the Hawaiian Open. In 1976, the Aloha Section PGA revived the event as the ultimate golf championship for professionals and amateurs with the purpose of determining the best golfer in the islands.

The tournament is now presented by the Aloha Section PGA and will be returning to Mauna Lani Resort for the sixth year in a row.

The Men’s open division is packed with top golf talent, including TJ Esaki-Kua, who will defend his title against a field of past champions and young professionals. Esaki-Kua will be joined by three-time winners Dean Wilson (2007, ‘12, ‘14) and former UH-Hilo golfer Nick Mason, (‘08, ‘13, ‘15), as well as Tadd Fujikawa (‘10), Sam Cyr (‘11) and Kevin Hayashi (‘09, ‘00, ‘01).

In the Senior Open division, the field includes David Ishii along with major winner Scott Simpson and Tour players Mike Reid, David Eichelberger and Jeff Coston.

The Men’s Open amateur competition brings home Kyle Suppa — who won the title in 2015 and is currently attending USC — and Tyler Ota, who recently earned the amateur exemption into the Sony Open during the Governor John A. Burns Challenge Cup.

For more information, including tee times and leaderboards, visit aspga.com.

 

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