Kauai Discovering golfs ultimate island green

By Brian OarApril 6, 2009, 4:00 pm
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Par-4 no. 6 at Princeville's Prince Course
Kauai is a magical place. Lush in the extreme, less than 4 percent of the Garden Isle is developed. Sandy beaches tucked around the shimmering, turquoise Pacific Ocean, a vast array of after-golf activities and courses designed by some of the sports finest architects combine to make this a true golfers paradise.
At the heart of Kauai is three renowned resorts and six outstanding golf courses 'Princeville, Poipu Bay, Kaua'i Lagoons, Kiahuna and Puakea.
The destination has long been known to avid travelers and island aficionados for its beach ambiance and romantic setting ' site of many Hollywood films ' idyllic weather, and largely untouched natural beauty.
Many avid golf travelers are well aware that Kauai is home to some of the worlds greatest golf courses designed by marquee-name architects such as Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones Jr., and that its courses regularly garner best-of rankings from national media.
Take Poipu Bay Golf Course (www.poipubaygolf.com, 800.858.6300) for example.
Located at Kauais southern tip, Poipu Bay was recently rated by Golfworld magazines discerning readers as the No. 2 course in Hawaii ' perhaps Americas most acclaimed state for golf. It was also home to Tiger Woods and other major champions via the PGA Grand Slam of Golf from 1994-2006.
Poipu Bays signature hole is the 501-yard, par-4 16th, which poses a variety of challenges. A small lake and two fairway bunkers are positioned on the right; a sheer, red sea cliff drops to the ocean on the left; and a dogleg left is created by an ancient rock wall and heiau (ancient place of worship).
Along with the adjacent Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa ' a luxurious, amenity-rich resting place following golf ' Poipu Bay and the resort were rated No. 32 in Golf Digests 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America 2007-08.
Elite-level rankings are the norm for Princeville at Hanalei (www.princeville.com, 800-826-1105), which is esteemed by national ranking panelists. The Prince Course headlines the resorts 45 Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf holes and is Golf Digests No. 39 rated course in Americas 100 Greatest Golf Courses and the No. 1 rated course in the state.
Princeville Hotel is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and will re-open under the St. Regis brand in 2009. Likewise, 18 of the 27 Makai Course holes at Princeville are being enhanced and also are scheduled to be unveiled in the upcoming golf season.
Kiahuna Golf Club (www.kiahunagolf.com, 808.742.9595) is another stellar design by Trent Jones Jr. It features outstanding Seashore Paspalum greens, and the course weaves around many ancient remnants of authentic Hawaiian culture.
Voted Kauais Best by the readers of The Garden Isle newspaper, Kiahuna is a 6,925-yard, par 70 with a rating of 73.5 and slope of 134. Its charming course-side restaurant and bar are the perfect setting to relax post-round, or enjoy lunch or dinner.
Puakea Golf Course (www.puakeagolf.com, 866.773.5554) plays around deep ravines and streams fed by fresh mountain rainwater. Located in Lihue conveniently near the islands primary airport, Puakea sits at the foot of Mount Haupu and is Kauais newest 18-hole course, enjoying its first full season in 2004.
Owned by AOL co-founder Steve Case, Puakea is adjacent to the lush site where Steven Spielberg filmed Jurassic Park. It is a standalone daily fee course which has been honored as one of the states best courses by both Golfweek Magazine in its Americas Best Courses You Can Play list and Golfworld in its 2009 Readers Choice awards.
Less than five minutes away from Puakea in Lihue is the soul-stirring Kauai Lagoons Golf Club (www.kauailagoonsgolf.com, 800.634.6400) and Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club. Rated by Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine this year as Hawaiis most underrated golf resort, currently 18 of 36 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus are in play consisting of the Maile nine (former Mokihana holes) and the Kiele nine (former Kiele front nine).
The back nine ocean holes of the Kiele Course are currently closed and in the process of receiving extensive upgrades, including the addition of one new ocean hole which will create a mile-long stretch of oceanfront golf. The planned ocean nine reopening is mid-2009, and Kiele Course, already judged by Golf Digest raters as one of Americas 100 Greatest Golf Courses, is poised to garner additional accolades as a result.
To complement its world-class golf and beaches, Kauai offers an abundant collection of after-golf activities for families, adventure-seekers, romantics, shoppers, naturalists, and those wishing to better experience Kauais authentic culture and island-made products.
For more information visit www.kauaidiscovery.com/activities/golfing/ or call 800-262-1400.
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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

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The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.