Hawaii State Open Rd1: Maui’s Chiarella and Stark off to good starts… Fujikawa leads.

Home / Maui Golf Review Magazine / Hawaii State Open Rd1: Maui’s Chiarella and Stark off to good starts… Fujikawa leads.

Maui junior golfer Alex Chiarella continues his stellar play with either wins and outstanding starts. Now the Makawao Seabury High junior is stalking the big boys on Oahu’s north shore. He is even par and four back on a course that is as gusty as it is challenging, and his hands will be full with so many luminaries ahead of him, including yet another teen sensation, Tadd Fujikawa from Honolulu, who is in the lead after the first round of play at the Turtle Bay Resort Hawaii State Open at 4-under-par.  Almost 200 golfers from around the state and from the mainland are competing on Turtle Bay Resort’s Arnold Palmer and George Fazio courses from Dec. 17 – 19.

Fujikawa commented after his 4 under, 68 on the Palmer Course stating, “I had it going.  Ball striking and making putts along with a few tap-ins for birdie helped.” Fujikawa had eight birdies including 4 in a row on his first nine holes to turn at 4 under par. “I want to continue hitting quality golf shots, I’ve had good success here,” added Fujikawa who tees off at 12:05 Saturday.

Ben Sauls (35-34), Ryan Perez (34-35), Jake Grodzinsky (33-36), and Sam Cyr (36-33) trail Fujikawa at 3-under-par for a share of second place.

2007 Hawaii State Open Champion and PGA Tour Professional Dean Wilson of Kaneohe is 3 back with an opening round 69.  Turtle Bay Resort’s Tour Professionals Tony and Gipper Finau shot 70 and 78 respectively.

Makena pro Captain Kirk Nelson is the defending Senior State Open Champion and is currently T15 at 2-over. Another Mauian, pro Ron Stark, is T8 at 1-under. I spoke with him briefly today and he seemed in good spirits. 1987 Hawaii State Open champion Casey Nakama (32-35) of Honolulu, is leading the Senior Division with a 5-under-par 67.  Nakama had 6 birdies and one bogey on the Turtle Bay’s Fazio Course where the first two round of the Senior Division is being held.  David Ishii (35-33) of Pearl Country Club is in second place with a 4-under-par 68. Right behind him in third place is Dave Eichelberger (34-35) from Honolulu, Ty Otake  (34-35) of Luana Hills Country Club, and Lance Taketa (32-37) of Hilo Municipal Golf Course at 3-under-par 69.

Defending Women’s Division champion, Katie Kempter of Albuquerque, NM opened with a 3 over, 75 on the Fazio Course and trails first round leaders, Kelli Oride of Lihue and Ji Soo Park by 5 shots. Professionals Britney Choy and Xyra Suyetsugu are tied for third at even par.

Rayray Gorman, of Honolulu, shot 76 to lead the Men’s A-Flight division and Hansol Koo, of Honolulu leads the Women’s A-Flight with a 78.

Hunter Larson 22, of Honolulu, had a hole-in-one on the Palmer Course’s 13th hole.

The second round tees off Saturday beginning at 7:45AM.  Admission is free and spectators are welcome to attend.

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