KOHALA COAST, HAWAII – DECEMBER 16, 2016 – For the fifth year at Mauna Lani, the Hawaii State Open returns with a sold out field of 170 top amateurs and professionals to compete in the year-end signature event for the Aloha Section PGA. Mauna Lani is home to the North and South courses named after Francis H. I’i Brown, known to many locals as “Mr. Golf” in Hawaii. The two championship courses host four divisions in a 54-hole stroke-play tournament: Men’s Open, Senior Open, Women’s Open and A-Flight.
Leading the Men’s Open division is PGA professional Dean Wilson posting a five-under score of 67 today to finish one stroke ahead of professional SJ Maeng (Honolulu, HI) and two strokes ahead of TJ Kua (Honolulu, HI). Defending champion, Nick Mason (Ewa Beach, HI), is in a six-way tie at two-under par (70) putting him three strokes behind Wilson. Brent Grant, who won this year’s Governor’s Cup earning him a spot in the 2017 SONY OPEN IN HAWAII, leads the Championship Flight. Titan Oshura of Waikoloa, HI is tied for second with Jerry Ledzinski of California and Tyler Jones of Utah with a score of 76 (+4).
In the Senior Open Division, Bill Breen of Nashville, TX and Tom Sovay are tied for the lead, both firing a three-under par (69). Kevin Burton of Boise, ID follows by one stroke, posting a two-under par (70) today on the North Course. In the Senior Amateur Division, Lihue’s Jonathan Ota and Waikoloa’s Richard Gillette lead at 73, three strokes ahead of Dr. Carl Ho of Honolulu.
Also on the North Course, professional Nicole Sakamoto leads the Women’s Open finishing one-under par (71) just two strokes ahead of defending champion Britney Yada (73). Low-amateur Kaylee Akagi carded a 78 (+6) today to lead the lady amateurs. While in A-Flight, there is a three-way tie for the lead at 79 (+7): David Budway (Arlington, VA), Warren Doenz (Canada) and Rob Long (Lehi, UT).
Round #2 will start at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow on the North Course with the Men’s Open Division and A-Flight to follow. Both the Senior Open Division and Women’s Open will tee off at 6:45 a.m. on the South Course. For more up to date information on this event visit www.aspga.com or follow us on social media via Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. @alohasectionpga
Visionary Video – Kona, Hawaii will be providing tournament footage and interviews during the event on behalf of the committee.
About Mauna Lani Resort: The famous golf courses, the Francis H. I’i Brown North & South are named in honor of the former Mauna Lani landowner and champion Hawaii golfer. The courses offer breathtaking scenery, unforgettable signature holes and cutting-edge course design built around ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs, trails and fishponds. Mauna Lani Resort is home to the annual Hawaii State Open played in December.
About the Aloha Section PGA: The Aloha Section PGA was established in 1976, and today is comprised of over 230 golf Professionals working at over 90 facilities within the Section. The mission of the Aloha Section (ASPGA) is that Purpose of the PGA of America, to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals and the golf industry. The ASPGA provides competitive playing opportunities, educational seminars, and growth of the game initiatives, within the state of Hawaii.