Junior golfers benefit from one of their own as Michelle Wie headlines the 2012 HSJGA Tournament of Champions at Wailea.

Home / Maui Golf Review Magazine / Junior golfers benefit from one of their own as Michelle Wie headlines the 2012 HSJGA Tournament of Champions at Wailea.

The star power of Michelle Wie might’ve reached a fever pitch if the graceful and heady LPGA Touring Pro and recent Stanford graduate, Michelle Wie, had the ego of a Rory or a Tiger. Instead, the Punahou alum from Oahu returned to her roots displaying all of the maturity, professionalism, and simple good-upbringing that her family and, in some ways, golf contributed to what is a unique and truly down-to-earth celebrity personality, during the final hours of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions season-ending finale that she headlined.

“She was just super,” Wailea head golf professional Rusty Hathaway told me of the way she treated the sponsors and volunteers during a private three-hole outing that took place on Saturday. “She couldn’t have been warmer or friendlier to everyone,” the veteran Wailea pro said. “It was just an incredible, intimate occasion.”

The 2012 Michelle Wie HSJGA Tournament of Champions at Wailea ran over the weekend of 14-16 December 2012 and was no doubt rapt with lots of surprises conjured up by the 23-year-old superstar and, mostly likely, her slightly older partner in crime: Hawaii State Junior Golf Association president and 17-year veteran LPGA Touring Professional Mary Bea Porter-King of Kauai.

The purpose of the 12-year-old event is to both raise money and awareness for Hawaii’s junior golf program—a mission of great dedication and devotion by its leader, Mary Bea—and to create a championship for the year’s young champions. Hence the name: Tournament of Champions.

The event was a big deal when Michelle was a youngster. I am uncertain as to how many times she as won it but do know I saw her name on the trophy in 2001 and 2002. Heaven knows she dominated here and still does, so figure my dates and years are probably off a tad.

This was my second year of trying to make myself somewhat useful for Mary Bea, and so I shot both stills and video of the event, which had the state’s top junior golfers (boys and girls from ages 7-18) vying to three places in four age groups. Here are the winning results:

Boys 7-10: Taylor John McGerity, Honolulu

Girls 7-10: Millburn Ho, Honolulu

Boys 11-12: Evan Kawai, Honolulu

Girls 11-12: Aneka Seumanutafa, Honolulu

Boys 13-14: Shawn Lu, Honolulu

Girls 13-14: Rose Huang, Honolulu

Boys 15-18: Colby Takushi, Pearl City

Girls 15-18: Allisen Corpuz, Honolulu

Here is a link to the entire field’s results: TOC_Final Results

Here is a link to the still photos I shot of the final round action and the awards ceremony. I tried to shoot every child, and apologize if I missed anyone or if my shaky hands make the shot blurry 🙂

Here is the shot I was supposed to take of the finale, but was too stupid to realize where the kids had gone when this was taken by another local Maui pro:

Michelle Wie was a champion, once again, only this time is was off the course and for a good cause: the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association and the sponsors, children and volunteers who support it.












The weather was perfect as the field of 57 young players went off both the first and tenth Emerald Course tees. There was a bit of dew on the fairways but it warmed right up. I shot all of the kids playing off of No. 1, including some bonus video footage, and repeated the process on No. 18, so as to get everyone with either  a still, a video clip, or hopefully both.

These young kids can really play. Virtually all of them had polished swings and poise around the greens. Sure, I saw a few short putts missed, a few extra swings in the bunkers, but then again even the Michelle Wies of the world out there on Tour have their moments; in a nutshell, these kids are good.

Wailea’s fairways and greens were immaculate as always, and in addition to their regular stellar staff, even the Wailea Golf Club’s president and general manager herself, Ms. Anne M. Takabuki, was on hand. Additionally, longtime head golf professional Rusty Hathaway was on hand to oversee things and bear the leis he would adorn the winners with later in the day. Not to be missed was another longtime Wailea veteran, Rick Castillo, who now runs Kahili Golf Course and The King Kamehameha Golf Club. Rick has been the event’s emcee for longer than I know, and is from one of Hawaii’s most prominent golfing families.

Wailea Golf Club president and gemeral manager, Anne M. Takabuki, was also on hand during the festivities.









It was good to see the volunteers, many of whom I never expected to see, like the teacher of teachers—my brah from way back, Jerry King. My dear friend Mike Jones, general manager and director of golf at Kapalua, was also on hand. The two were helping as rules officials, as was a member of another one of Hawaii’s top golfing families: Daryll Rego, who must’ve come over from Molokai. His sister: Brenda, is a Class A PGA Golf Professional herself, with the Aloha Section. She is also the only female head golf professional in Hawaii. Brenda was in charge of the awards and scoring area, and as usual, was a pip.

Others like the stellar LPGA pro, Cathy Torchiana, Stuart and Deb Katz, Al Little, and so many others were on hand to make the event run smoothly.

The looks on many of these children’s faces and in their eyes was priceless. They were awestruck by the generosity and giving aloha of Michelle Wie, whose star power is an enormous boost for Hawaii and this kids.

Even as this once-capable golf writer stammered through attempts at conjuring up a cogent interview, Ms. Wie and Mary Bea carried me throughout the ordeal, and kept the positive energy flowing onward and into the awards ceremony, which was the climax of the event, and surely an endurance test for Michelle, whose wide grins and awesome warmth and aloha made the kids struggle to hold back their tears of joy.

Look at the beaming eyes of Eimi Koga—a Moanalua junior and a budding superstar in Hawaii junior golf in her own right—as she receives her award from Michelle.












Michelle Wie is a product of the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association. Bary Bea Porter-King is its matriarch. In some ways, Mary Bea’s efforts and what I, and everyone else who was there, witnessed in Michelle what can only be described as an enduring and whole-hearted act of aloha and generosity for her sport, her roots, and those who look up to her now. I can’t help but credit Mary Bea for her tireless efforts. Junior golfers from the past, the present, and the future owe her a great debt, and the fact that Michelle has stepped up to the plate must be gratifying and reward enough for King, who was recognized the the PGA as their 2011 First Lady of Golf—much in part due to her saving a boy from drowning once, right in the middle of an LPGA Tour event, no less.

To many a parent, Mary Bea must seem like a lifesaver as well. I saw hoards of parents there in force and were it not for the Mary Beas of this world, where would they have been otherwise?

In Michelle Wie I saw a bit of Mary Bea, and to a degree vice versa. Golf’s lessons learned, and the resulting character that is built, is why the game (and the cause) is so valuable.


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