Inside Sports for Thursday — November 24, 2005

  • In the presence of a legend

In the presence of a legend

By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island

PO’IPU — Individuals lucky enough to watch Wilt Chamberlain, Jim Brown, Muhammed Ali, Babe Ruth, Gordie Howe, and Michael Jordan in person, know the feeling most felt, when they witnessed the world’s greatest golfer in the flesh at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, earlier this week.

The gallery in the past couple of days, compared to previous years, where Tiger wasn’t present, seemed to bulge over into immense proportions.

Though still an intimate setting, the amount of people at this year’s event had a direct connection to Woods, who didn’t disappoint his many fans by winning a record sixth Grand Slam.

There’s no doubt that after it’s all said and done, that Woods will rank amongst the greatest golfers in history.

A host of individuals in the gallery noted that this was their first time watching Tiger play in person.

This too is my very first time seeing Woods play and I have to say that it’s much different than watching him from the comfort of my own home.

Why?

Well for one, on TV, you can’t see his every move. But watching him stalk the Po’ipu Bay Golf Course on Tuesday and Wednesday, gave me some insight on why he remains as one of the most popular sports figure in the world.

Covering the Slam

This is my second straight Grand Slam of Golf, and the same faces of the media made the trip down to Po’ipu, including former sports editor of The Garden Island, Nick Abramo, who now works for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Abramo, who covered me as a high school basketball player back in the late 1990s, has a strong connection to the Garden Isle, a place he roamed for more than 10 years.

He made the rounds in his old stamping grounds, which included a stop at the Kuku’iolono Snack Shop to visit close friend Marina Octavio.

Abramo said that he’s as busy as ever with his three children and his wife, whose family still lives in Ele’ele. Abramo works as a high school sports reporter and also covers the Grand Slam of Golf.

Well-known golf writer for the Honolulu Advertiser Bill Kwon made an appearance as well.

Amidst the many individuals in the media center at the Grand Hyatt Hotel on Tuesday was famous Hawai’i chef and restaurant owner Sam Choy.

He was glad to have his photo in the front page of The Garden Island’s sports section.

Choy is an avid golfer and has been coming to The Grand Slam for many years, and rumor has it he might open one of his signature restaurants here on Kaua’i.

Another year, another Grand Slam of Golf, and hopefully it’ll be here for years to come, but we’ll have to wait at least until January of next year to find that out.

But for now, we’ll cherish the memories and savor the moments created by Woods and this year’s field.

  • Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257
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