Kauai Jr. Golfers in inaugural Kauai Junior Classic

LIHUE — Nine of Kauai’s Junior Golfers ranging in the Girls 7-10 division through the Girls 15-18 division will be on the tee Saturday at the Ocean Course at Hokuala when the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association conducts the inaugural Kauai Junior Classic this Saturday and Sunday.

“Players continue to strive to earn valuable points that count towards the HSJGA Player of Year,” said Ryan Toole of the HSJGA. “Others are vying for a coveted spot on the HSJGA Asia Pacific Junior Cup Hawaii Team.”

Kauai players participating in the inaugural tournament include Heiley Kikuchi of Lihue, and Rianna Change of Lihue playing in the Girls 7-10 age grouping.

Chance Wilson of Princeville, Kade Kikuchi of Lihue, and Ryan Chang of Lihue will be part of the field in the Boys 11-12 age division, and Kiara Johnson of Lihue will be in the Girls 11-12 flight.

Jaydon Kyono of Kalaheo will be joined by Deven Kimoto of Lihue in the Boys 15-18 flight, and Taryn Taguma of Lihue will be among the Girls 15-18 division. Kauai has no players in the Girls 13-14, or the Boys 13-14 flights.

Kauai Junior Classic players play to a par 72, the girls 7-10 playing 4,600 yards, the girls 11-12, and the boys 11-12 playing 5,377 yards.

The girls and boys 13-14 flight, and the girls 15-18 flight play 6,277 yards. The boys 15-18 flight will play 6,722 yards.

Kauai’s Junior Golfers will be participating with other Juniors from around the state in this HSJGA sanctioned event.

The Asia Pacific Junior Cup is an annual world-class junior golf tournament that recognizes and rewards the ability of young men and women from Hawaii and Japan while raising awareness and funds for a variety of local charitable organizations.

The APJC, celebrating its 11th anniversary this year, is an educatisonal and recreational vehicle by which talented young men and women from different cultures compete in a positive and friendly atmosphere with the potential of creating long-lasting bonds.

Starting with a vision by Mark Wang, president of Hilton Grand Vacations Club, and Mary Bea Porter-King, the HSJGA president, the tournament wanted to foster goodwill between Hawaii and international players in a fun Ryder Cup style tournament.

Originally, the plan was to have the event rotate back and forth between Japan and Hawaii, but due to certain logistics of international coordination, the event was kept at the Waikoloa Kings’ Course on the Big Island for the past nine years. It went to Japan for the first time in 2016, and 2017 before rotating back to the Big Island in 2018.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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