Foursome named for Grand Slam

Tiger Woods making his fourth appearance on island

By JASON

GALLIC

TGI Sports Editor

POIP’U — Without a points system, this year’s

Grand Slam of Golf would’ve been a tad less intriguing.

Without a points

system, the two-day November event at Poip’u Bay Golf Course, which brings the

winners of the year’s Majors to the island, would’ve been a head-to-head battle

between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh.

Problem is, Woods — the Grand Slam’s

two-time defending champ — won the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA

Championship. Besides being the first player to do so since Ben Hogan in 1953,

the monumental accomplishment also meant the Grand Slam of Golf had to call on

its points system to locate two more competitors. As formally announced Monday,

Ernie Els, the No. 2-ranked player in the world, and Paul Azinger, in the top

30, will join Woods and Singh Nov. 21-22 in search of the $400,000 first prize.

The format of the tournament has yet to be announced.

“We’re very happy

with the field,” said Mike Castillo, the head professional at Poip’u Bay.

“Azinger’s never been to Kaua’i, and, of course, Tiger’s been here a couple of

times.

“He’s always a nice draw.”

A likely understatement. Castillo

said that Woods drew galleries of 8,000-plus during his first appearance in

1997. After his performance in 2000, the 24-year-old golfer may draw three

times as many folks.

“We know it’s going to be busy, but it’s not going to

be bad,” Castillo said. “I think Tiger likes to come to this tournament because

he is allowed to enjoy himself.

“Yeah, he gets asked for autographs and

stuff, but he walks the grounds (at the Hyatt) and is allowed his space. Plus,

it’s a nice chance for him to make a few bucks.”

Which is what the state of

Hawai’i, and specifically the island of Kaua’i, would like the event to bring

in.

Castillo said the the cash outlay to host the Grand Slam exceeds $1

million.

“Between hosting the event, lost revenue and things like that, it

is costly,” Castillo said. “The owner of the resort puts up most of the money,

but the HTA (Hawai’i Tourism Authority) also helps out.”

In fact, the HTA

contributes $300,000 to host the event.

“We feel like we get our money’s

worth,” said Gary Baldwin, the Kaua’i representative for the HTA. “It’s nice

exposure for us.”

Exposure that puts Kaua’i on Turner Network Television

(TNT) during East Coast prime time, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., and broadcasts the

island in over 100 countries.

“We’re going to have spot stuff running that

will show off some of Kaua’i’s scenic spots,” Castillo said. “We’re looking

forward to another good event.”

AP

Tiger Woods drives the ball off

the tee at the U.S. Open earlier this year. Woods, along with Ernie Els, Vijay

Singh and Paul Azinger will be on Kaua’i Nov. 22-23 for the Grand Slam of Golf.

The event will be held at Poip’u Bay Golf Course.

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