Category Archives: Sports

Whither Wie?

Wie sport poll.

Wie sport poll.

Michelle Wie has been having a tough time of it lately. From what I understand, she will need to go through qualifying school to be able to play golf on the Ladies Professional Golf tour next year. It seems whichever decisions she and her father make, they turn out to be wrong. Why that is can be debated but the results of the decisions cannot.

That said, she made more money through endorsements than you or I will make in a lifetime so I don’t think she needs any sympathy from anyone. Still, as the poll seems to indicate, the majority of people don’t think she will ever regain the excellence she displayed before turning pro. On the other hand, the majority of people are hoping they are wrong. So am I.

Good luck to Michele.

Aloha!

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America’s Cup Where?

It just seems wrong. I mean, having the challengers to the America’s Cup racing off of Valencia. As in Spain, not California. For decades, the challenge was held off the coast of the US (either East or West). Then it went Down Under. Then it went to the land of the Kiwis. Now it’s off the shores of Spain.

Perhaps doubly wrong because the last US boat got eliminated earlier this week when the BMW/Oracle team lost to the Italian Luna Rossa.

Oh well, New Zealand is on the verge of beating Spain (if it hasn’t done so by the time you read this). If so, it will be the Kiwis against the Italians to see who earns the right to challenge the current cup holders – the Swiss Alinghi team.

I’m not sure if any of the races will be televised here in Hawaiʻi, but if so, I will try to watch, whenever I can.

Young Hawaii Golfers Moving Forward

For you golfers out there, you can probably skip this post
because you will already know the subject. For anyone else interested
in golf, but living under a rock for the last week, read on.

First, although young Hawaii golfer Michelle Wie did not make
the cut at this past weekend’s Sony Hawaiian Open Professional Golfers
Association (PGA) tournament, she is thanked for paving the way for a
new wave of young golfers, here and elsewhere. Without her pioneering
efforts, we might not be seeing local golfers like Kimberly Kim or
Stephanie Kono.

Another person who may have benefited from Wie’s way is
16-year-old Tadd Fujikawa. The young high school student was the
youngest golfer in 50 years to make the cut at a PGA event last week
after shooting rounds of 71 and 66. He followed that on Saturday with
another 66 but fell back on the final day to a two over par 72. Still,
this tied for 20th place, overall for the tournament.

Each of these golfers is making it easier for the next
generation to move a little closer to the dream of one day becoming the
best at what they do. Good luck to all and thank you for all the hours
of work it takes to be as good as you are.

Aloha!

2006 Honolulu Marathon

This Sunday is the 34th
annual Honolulu Marathon
. At
5:00 in the morning, folks will be starting the 26.2 mile trek through
the streets of Honolulu to Hawaii Kai and back.

Here for an autograph session
include some of the greats of marathoning. Included are Kenya’s and
four time Olympic medalist Kip Keino, 1972 Olympic gold medalist Frank
Shorter, and three-time New York Marathon winner Alberto Salazar.

Not that I’m in their league, but over 20 years ago, I too was up
early and running my first, and only marathon. I took about six and and
a half hours to finish, but I finished. Recently, my mother was going
through some old pictures and found the contact print provided by the
photo service hired by the marathon folks to document all the runners.
It was taken just before the finish line at Kapiolani Park
and reflects some of the pain I was feeling. You can click on the image
for a larger version but I’m not sure why you would want to do that 🙂

My 1984 Honolulu Marathon finish.

Aloha!

Comeback Keiki

I switched over to the Golf channel yesterday to check on the progress of Hawaii’s other teenage
golfing phenom. Her name is Kimberly Kim (sometimes referred to as Kim
Kim). She’s age 14 and born and raised in Hilo on the Big Island. At
the time I tuned in, she was four strokes back and I figured, oh well,
she was the youngest to have made it to the finals of the U.S. Women’s
Amateur golf tournament and that, in itself, was an accomplishment. I
thought, maybe next year, and turned the channel. Little did I know
that not only would she make up the difference, but she would pull
ahead and be the youngest person to ever win the tournament!
Congratulations to Kimberly. You can read more about her win here.

The other come back kid yesterday was Kaneohe’s own Dean Wilson. Okay, at age 36 he’s no kid
any more. But when I checked in on his progress, he was tied for
seventh place. Little did I know he would storm back to be tied for
first and win it in a playoff! According to the newspaper,
he is the first Hawaii born golfer to win a tour event on the mainland
(others have won the Hawaiian Open but, apparently,
none have gone on to the mainland US and won).

What a day for golfers with connections to Hawaii!  

Aloha!

Away Wie Go

There is a sports truism that says playing not to loose is not the same as
playing to win. This is usually illustrated with examples of someone who was leading an event only to
eventually lose to someone else.

I think It happens often enough that it seems to be true. Its almost painful to watch as the
hapless individual self-destructs before our eyes. The
thing is, it’s not usually because he or she lacks the physical ability
to win, it’s that they seem to lack the mental toughness to be champions. They seem
to lack the focus to quiet, or at least ignore, that part of their mind
that whispers tales of self-doubt. So, either they become timid, and
stop doing what they were doing to get the lead, or they become foolish
and take risks that do not pay off.

Now compare them to “Eye of the Tiger” Woods. No matter what score he eventually ends up with, he is
playing to win. Yes, so is everyone else on the golf course – or so it
seems. But he is usually the one who, having scratched his way to the
lead, uses both hands to keep a strangle hold on that prize. He has the
ability to focus and block everything else out.

This past weekend, Hawaii’s favorite 16-year-old golfer Michelle Wie was leading the tournament by
two strokes with seven holes to go. In the end, she lost by one to the
hard charging Australian Karrie Webb.

Although Webb has had her own problems in the past, I have to admire the pluck of this Aussie. I
think she well represents the best of her country and, I hope, Michelle
can learn from this experience and finally find her way to the winner’s
circle.

Aloha!

Wie Makes the Cut

It’s Friday! Sixteen-year old Hawaii golfer Michelle Wie
wowed them in South Korea yesterday when she became the
second female in Korea (and the first US female since 1945) to make
the cut in a men’s professional golf tournament. According to
the
local newspaper article
, Michelle is in 17th place at 5-under par for two
rounds. Go Michelle!