Inside Sports for Wednesday — November 23, 2005

  • Flagging down the merchandise

Flagging down the merchandise

By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island

PO’IPU — 1997 is considered the best year for merchandise sales at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf and according to Po’ipu Bay Golf Course merchandise manager, Mac McAtee, this year is a close second.

“We’re doing really good and everyone knows the main reason is because of Tiger Woods,” McAtee said.

The top seller this year is the PGA Grand Slam flag, which was sold out after the first day.

“It’s a great souvenir piece and it’s authentic. Golf fans love it and it’s a great accessory for an autograph,” McAtee said.

Men’s caps are also selling well in the merchandise tent, however this year, because of restrictions by the Nike/Tiger Woods connection, no hats were made with any of the players’ names on them.

Even women’s and children’s items were selling at a good rate, despite the small volume of the apparel.

“We’ve just concentrated on the best-selling items. This has been an outstanding year. The top three players (Tiger, Vijay, Phil) are here and Michael Campbell has a good following as well,” McAtee said.

Jason Ahuna, who’s a regular at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, usually buys around $200 worth of logo wear. The merchandise tent is perfectly placed, right by the main entrance of the event. Most locals and visitors stop by the tent before going on to the 18th green and today might be their last chance to claim PGA Grand Slam of Golf gear, especially if this is the last season the event graces the greens of the Garden Isle.


The Tiger effect

It was evident by the amount of traffic on the southside and the mile-long line of cars along the Po’ipu bypass road that the world’s best golfer is here on the island. After missing the pro-am event on Monday due to a stomach virus, Woods graced the Po’ipu Bay Golf Course for the first time since 2002, the last of his five straight Grand Slam of Golf wins.

The crowd, mixed with both locals and visitors, were excited to see Woods back on Kaua’i and he didn’t let them down with a miraculous 5-under-par 67, to lead to the first round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

All three players were asked if they were surprised about how well Woods fared, despite his ailments and all three smiled when they mentioned that they weren’t surprised at all.

Mickelson said to “never underestimate a wounded golfer,” especially Woods, who seems to play better when the chips are down. If the Grand Slam doesn’t return to Kaua’i, it surely will be a great loss to the island, but more importantly, the Garden Isle’s only chance to see Woods is probably a greater loss, considering the PGA Grand Slam of Golf is the only professional.

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