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2016 PEARL INVITATIONAL- Pearl Country Club - Oahu, Hawaii - June 23 - 25.

5.1.2016-- 54 Hole Stroke Play Competition Professional Flight, Championship Flight (up to 5.9 index), A-Flight (6-10.9), B-Flight (11 and up), and Senior Amateur Flight (55 year and older). After 36 holes, each flight will be cut to approximately 50% plus ties. Downloadable application and more info now posted click here.

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Stephanie Kono Records Best LPGA Finish to Date!

2016 Lotte Championship- Ko Olina Golf Club, April 13 - 16.

4.16.2016-- Stephanie Kono (shown right) recorded her best LPGA finish to date after finishing strong in today's final round with a 7-under par 65. Kono's 4-day total of 4-under par 284 was good for T33 and she earned $11,465 for her performance. 

Kono started her rookie season on the LPGA Tour in 2012 and played in 14 events and didn't make a cut.

In 2013 Kono played in 13 Symetra Tour events and made 7 cuts with her best finish a T3 in the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Course earning $6,056.

In 2014 Stephanie played in 19 events on the Symetra Tour and made 15 cuts with her best finish a T9 in the Island Resort Championship earning $2,495.

Last year Steph played in 16 events on the Symetra Tour with her best finish a T4 in the Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Course to earn $3,353.

I have known Steph and her family for many years and its super awesome to see she did really well this year in the Lotte Championship. You couldn't find a nicer person and family in Hawaii Golf and I hope this is a start for bigger and greater things for Step in her young golfing career. Go Stephaine!

For more on Stephanie Kono's golf stats and the LPGA Tour visit LPGA.com.

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Parker McLachlin Seals 58th MPO Title!

58th Mid-Pacific Open, 2016- Mid-Pacific Country Club, April 14 - 17.

4.17.2016-- Parker McLachlin finished strong today closing with a 4-under par 68 and a tournament total of 11-under par 277 (71-65-73-68) to seal the 58th Mid-Pac Open title by 7 shots over 2-time MPO champion Nick Mason. McLachlin carded 1 eagle and 5 birdies against 3 bogies in the final round today earning the 1st place check in the amount of $14,000. Nick Mason was the runner up with a tournament score of 4-under par 284 (68-74-70-72) and Dean Wilson rounds out the top three at 2-under par 286 (73-68-69-76).

Shawn Lu captured the low amateur title with a score of 4-over par 287. James Nam won the A-Flight with a total of 35-over par 323 and William Enomoto won the B-FLIGHT with a score of 48-over par 336.

Kevin Hayashi, PGA sealed the SENIOR-PROFESSIONAL division (contested in the first 36 holes where Hayashi and Eichelberger was tied at 4-over par 148 respectively) in an 18 hole 3rd round playoff with a score of 222 over Dave Eichelberger who posted a 224 and Brandan Kop won the SENIOR-AMATEUR division with a 36 hole total of 7-over par 151.

For more on the Mid-Pacific Open including hole-by-hole scores for all flights visit the Aloha Section PGA's web site click here.

Day Four Mid Pac Open 2016

Well the goat has egg on his face.  Now I know what happened on #10 yesterday.  Turns out the score keeper on the board on the course started posting on hole number 10 since that is where the professionals started.  As long as I can remember that “on course board” kept track with scores on the first hole played as number 1 so that at the end of the day you can easily see who is in the lead and by how much.  Still I should have known better, what are the odds that you would have an eagle chip in and a three over par on one of the easy holes on the course especially with the pin where it was.  Oh, well.

Today I picked up the action on #12 with Parker up a bunch.  As an aside watching the professionals play at the Mid Pac Open is a treat because there are no “ropes” and you can really get up front and personal.  Once again all three in the final group went off the backed up #13 tee box with what looked like fairway woods and they all were well over the hill with wedges into the green.  That still boggles my mind. 

The most interesting shots came on hole 15.  The group in front of the leaders had two players hitting the fairway.  That would be expected you might say except that the fairway they hit was # 13!  The good news is that they both had good lies given that it was the fairway after all, and they had to hit over or though the pine trees which is not an easy task.  Both of them managed to get back on the proper part of the course and had lengthy wedge shots into the green.  They both hit wonderful shots that checked up nicely (oh that I should someday have that shot, but I digress) and they both made par.  Parker three putted that green for a bogie so getting up and down from where they were was not easy task. 

The wind picked up in the afternoon and with fast greens nothing was easy.  All in all another great open and it once again leaves me in a “can’t wait for the next one” mode.

Respectfully Submitted

Billy the Goat

4.16.2016-- It was another beautiful day in Lanikai as Round 3 of the MID-PACIFIC OPEN began. After 54-holes, Parker McLachlin still retains his lead moving into the final round on Sunday after managing a 1-over par 73. McLachlin sits a top the leaderboard at 7-under par 209 (71-65-73) Just one swing back of McLachlin at 6-under par 210 is Dean Wilson who shot 3-under (69). Moanalua High School's Shawn Lu is leading Championship flight and will be joining McLachlin and Wilson in the final pairing tomorrow at 9:00 AM on the 1st tee. Lu posted at (68) today to finish with a three day total of 211 and is in 3rd place overall for the tournament. Kyle Suppa, Tyler Ota and Andrew Chin are all tied in Championship flight at (219), eight shots back of Shawn Lu.

In the Senior Division, Kevin Hayashi, PGA won the play-off for Senior-PRO against Dave Eichelberger, PGA. After 36-holes, both players were tied at (148). The  tournament committee used their total 18-hole scores from Round 3 to break the tie. Hayashi earns a Senior-PRO prizes of $3,000.

In A-Flight, James Nam is nine strokes ahead of Arnold Fukumoto and Shakil Ahmed, who are both tied for second place at (247). William Enomoto is ahead of David Kochi by two shots at (249) to lead B-Flight.

Tomorrow’s tee times will begin at 6:50 AM off the 1st and 10th tee. Spectators are welcome to follow the players and experience the beauty of Mid-Pacific Country Club. For more on the Mid-Pacific Open including hole-by-hole scores for all flights visit the Aloha Section PGA's web site click here.

Day Three Mid Pac Open 2016

Today I planned to play the course and report on conditions which I did and will report shortly.  But before that, what the heck happened on #10?  I finished a round with my buddies Tim, Dave, and storm’en Norman Santos, current club president, (am I name dropping?) and looked at the leader board.  Going into # 10 Parker held a 1 shot lead at 7 under with Dean Wilson hot on his trail at 6 under.  Apparently Parker posted  an  eagle 2 and Dean a 3 over par 7 because the red numbers went from -7 vs -6 to -9 vs -3!!  To make it even more interesting another leader went from -5 to -2 on the same hole.

To put this in perspective I posted a par 4 and didn’t think there was anything unusual about the back center pin placement.  Ok, back to the course.  The course was relatively easy today by Mid Pac Open standards.  In the past we have had much more penalizing rough and more challenging pin placements.  My thoughts on the changes over the past couple of years is “good going Jason”.  If this was a pro only event I could see tricking things up like they do for the Sony Open, but this is a pro am so why not make it a track that is more wide open and forgiving so the A and B flight folks can have a chance to post reasonable scores.

Today the front nine was very fair.  Green speeds were up but not “roll off the green if you don’t make it” because they were not fast and over challenging at the same time.  The back nine however did have it’s challenges.  Starting with #12 which was back right and punished those who went past the hole.  And on the very next hole #13 it was back right as well and in a spot where you had to really be careful with your approach shot or you could easily end up off the green.

The next challenge was on #16 which was front left so if you were any distance away you had to really baby your speed or run by to the edge of the green.  I got suckered into going for that pin, went a little over and found myself quite a distance from the green as it ran down the closely shorn apron.  On #17 the pin was back left and in a slight depression.  I did manage a par but watched as two of my playing partners managed to miss back and forth short puts.

Tomorrow will probably see the most challenging pin placements and tee box stretches and the wind should pick up by the time the leaders are on the last nine so it should be exciting.  I am looking forward to watching another great finish.

Resspectfully Submitted,

Billy the Goat

4.15.2016-- Parker McLachlin shot lights out today firing a 2nd round of 7-under par 65 to surge to the top of the leaderboard thru 36 holes. McLachlin's card featured a flawless 7 birdies and 11 pars and he sits at 8-under par 136 (71-65) with 36 holes to go. Cory Oride and Dean Wilson round out the top three at 3-under par 141 respectively. Low round of the tournament was carded by professional Alex Ching today an 8-under par 64 featuring a flawless 8 birdies and 10 pars. Ching's 8-under today catapulted him up the leader board from T34 thru 18 to T4 thru 36. Shawn Lu is now the leader amongst amateurs at 1-under par 143 (73-70) T6 overall. Giving chase is Andrew Chin at even-par 144.

In the Senior Division competition, Kevin Hayashi, PGA and Dave Eichelberger, PGA are tied for Senior Professional Division at (148). The Committee will use their Round 3 score as the playoff in determining a winner. Brandan Kop is the winner of the Senior Amateur Division with a two day total of (72-79=151).

Day Two 2016 Mid Pac Open

You could not ask for better playing conditions, well you could but they would not get much better. I love Friday night (cut night) at the open.   Many times I would be on edge as I am sure many are tonight waiting to see if they will be playing on the weekend.  It is also a time when I get to talk to Jason.

So first to something I did not know.  His kids still think he is a smart dude who can be listened to.  He can still out run them and help with their homework.  And then there is his adorable spousal unit, lucky guy but I digress.  What I was actually going to share was the importance of the tee box set up in the early rounds.  Jason said that in the 13 years he has been setting up the Mid Pac Open he has found that pin placements are important and moving the tee boxes up to allow golfers to take one fewer club into the green really makes a difference in pace of play. This has been a problem in the past when Thursday and Friday rounds played into darkness for a couple of groups.  Jason to the rescue, problem solved.

Ray Schab, of the “I can swing the club in a phone booth” fame had a wonderful quote for me and wouldn’t you know it old age must be setting in so no quote but he did make the cut and his lovely wife was there to witness it.  Speaking of wives I met Bryan Duprey’s wife and two “girls” (lovely doggies) on the pill box hike late this afternoon and later caught up with him on #16. He was one of the ones banishing memories of the past (13 on #1 last year) to make the cut on the number.  I am certain it was my positive encouragement on the last 3 holes that did the trick.

I noticed a number of former championship flight players who have gotten older and moved into the B flight are still to be reckoned with.  Most notable is the ageless Wendell Kop, I want to grow up to be like him!!

Fast Freddie is hanging in there managing to follow a “hit it down the middle this game is easy” with a “what the heck happened left right left” kind of round.  Jimmy Nam continues to show that his game comes on when the lights go on and leads the A flight.

I also had a chance to follow Casey Nakama for a couple of holes and it is great to see family support with wife and parents there to root for their favorite player.  I did give Casey a little jab as his drive on 16 was quite pedestrian (real men get on in two) but he did make his par and made the cut.

Tomorrow should be another beautiful day.

Respectfully Submitted,

Billy the Goat

4.14.2016-- Professionals Cory Oride and 2-Time MPO Champion Nick Mason are tied atop the leaderboard at 4-under par 68 respectively thru the first 18 holes in the 58th Mid-Pac Open. Oride carded 7 birdies against 3 bogies and Mason carded 6 birdies against 2 bogies. Rounding out the top three amongst professionals are Justin Keiley and Ryan Acosta at 2-under par 70 respectively. Defending champion Bradley Shigezawa opened with a 1-over par 73 and is currently T9. Brandan Kop and Jun Ho Won are leading the race amongst amateurs after round 1 at even-par 72 respectively.

Day One Mid Pac Open... It was windy and beautiful for day #1.  I decided to hang out with the “long pants” for a change and camped out on # 12.  I was amazed and humbled by two things.  The first was the number of golfers to go for the flag in 2 on the long par 5.  One group had all 4 hitting past a back left pin placement and two converting for birdie.  To put this in perspective I have been a member for 18 years and played in a number of open’s in the A and B flights.  I have never seen a person I was playing with make it past the bunkers in two let alone hit the green.  The second item was the club selection on #13.  There was only one person who hit driver and that was the delightful Alice Kim who put it right down the middle.  The rest of the professionals hit either a long iron or a fairway wood.  Not the game I play!!

Hanging with the front runners also allowed me to visit with some of the people walking along to watch their professional.  Kyle Scanlon had a young lady following him that described his eagle on #5 and he was at 5 under coming off the 12th green.  That is not a number that Jason likes to see and I suspect one of the better ones for the day, although, I did see him drop a shot on number 15.  He was almost OB on his drive and his approach did find the green only to roll off and he did not get up and down for par.

Watching the professional was a hoot and something I have not done in the past preferring to watch mere mortals like myself trying to play a tricked up course.  It did show me that there is a huge difference in the talent level.  I am looking forward to three more great days of golf and will get to play on Saturday afternoon to see if I can break 100.

Respectfully Submitted,

Billy the Goat

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2016 OIA High School Golf scores now posted click here to see.

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Featured Golf Course of the Week:

Hapuna Golf Course, Big Island

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