Inside Sports for Sunday — April 23, 2006

It was certainly a relay, but not on the track, instead I was invited to tee it up at the Kalaheo Missionary Church’s American Cancer Society Relay For Life fundraiser golf tournament, yesterday at Kuku’iolono Golf Course, or “Kuk’s” as we affectionately call it.

The hardest part about the tournament was getting up at 6 a.m. to get ready for the event.

However, after a few glances at the clock, I hopped in the shower and suited up for the contest, which was small, but intimate.

Some of the golfers in the tournament included Matt Taba and Stewart “Cink” of Kuku’iula Development, C.J. Dela Cruz, Todd Stewart, and basically the entire Kyono Family, led by Tisha Kyono, who headed up the gang for nine holes of golf.

Steve Kyono, a recent survivor of esophageal cancer, was definitely on his game from the start.

Before teeing off, Kyono mentioned he hadn’t played golf in awhile and it had been at least a few months since he picked up a club.

He also said he tries to get out on the course at least twice a year, but that was hard to imagine, after witnessing his “above average” round on Saturday.

Teamed up with Kenny Meatoga and Kyono, I probably played one of the worst rounds of golf since I first started teeing it about six months ago.

But Kyono saved us numerous times, with his crafty wedge shots and his steady drives.

At times, he was in the zone, just as Michael Jordan was when he trashed the Portland Trail Blazers back in the 90s for the NBA Championship.

I really don’t know what it was about his game, but it stuck out like a piece of cheese near a mouse hole.

It was a joy just seeing him out there laughing and smiling, while dominating on the course.

Kyono’s battle with cancer is still ongoing and he’s still under-going two types of treatments.

A doctor said he is about two years away from being at 100 percent, but to me, he’s already there and has been for awhile.

Kyono is a tough customer both on and off the golf course. He fought off tough shots, just like he did in his battle with cancer.

The engineer by trade also didn’t fail to show off his years of schooling and experience in the field, by calculating yards away from the hole, by taking a few steps in the right direction and measuring the distance with sheer precision.

Maybe that’s what helped him out a lot during his round, but probably not.

I think it was faith holding his club and when he swung away, it was faith that took his ball close to the hole.

In fact, Kyono took home the top prize for closest to the hole at the sixth hole.

When he hit the shot, he knew it was pretty good, but when he took a ride closer to the green, it sat right on the fringe.

It was certainly a surprise to not see anyone nearer, considering the likes of his niece Rachel and Princeville pro Todd Stewart in the field.

The tournament came to a screeching halt the Kalaheo Missionary Church for prizes and good food.

It was great to see Pastor “Butch” once again (it’s been awhile), but the main thing is that we remembered each other.

And that’s what the tournament was all about. Remembering one another and helping to fight the ongoing battles with cancer.

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