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HAWAIIAN ISLANDS - FULL OF SURPRiSES

Hawaii 2017 Winners

The conditions for golf on both the Big Island and Maui were as expected - fantastic.

The Hawaiian Islands tour this year though was full of surprises to the very end

In the 20 years I have been escorting tours to Hawaii - I have never played the King Kamehameha Golf Course in such benign conditions. Teeing off at 8.00 am to avoid the 20 - 25 miles per hour winds that traditionally come up on the course late morning- the stong winds did not materialise. The weather - the temperature - the views and the slight breeze provided ideal playing conditions.

The Mens event was a "one horse" affair to the very end - Peter Tanner (Pelican Waters G.C. - Hcp 10) played magnificently to take a commanding lead of 6 strokes into the final round held on the Wailea Gold Course. However Peter struggled on the last day returning 32 points opening the way for Hugh Haslehust-Smith (Castle Hills G.C.  - Hcp 16) to catch him with a terrific 39 points and get up and win by 1 shot. It was a credible performance by Peter Tanner who has struggled over recent years with his form - and got back on the rails winning two New Zealand Tours and a Vietnam Tour this year already. But Hugh Haslehust - Smith who cited nearly every day that he wan't playing well, shot scores of 37, 37, 37, 40, 30, 34, 29, 40, 39 over the 9 rounds. It was a great performance given that he had not played the courses before.

The Ladies competition became a "Two Player" race going into the final round with Wendy Northey (Mt Osmond G.C.- Hcp 20-23) and Elaine Daly (NSW G.C. - Hcp 30-33) well clear of Joyce Williamson (Concord G.C. - Hcp 14-16) who struck form with 40 points the previous day moving into third place.  Having jockeyed for the lead over the previous three rounds. Wendy and Elaine struggled over the Wailea Gold course on the last day - both returning only 29 points - Carmel O'Keeffe (Springsure G.C. - Hcp 11-12) returned a wonderful score of 37 points - the best of the day for the women and it was enough to get up and beat Elaine Daly on a countback.

It was extremely surprising all round that the expected winners in both the Mens and the Ladies events were "pipped at the post" on the last round.


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