WAIKOLOA — International golf is coming to Waikoloa.
The Asia Pacific Junior Cup begins today at the Kings’ Course, where 16 of Hawaii’s top juniors will compete in this Ryder Cup style format against 16 of the top juniors from Japan.
The event begins with the opening ceremonies today at 2 p.m. and wraps up Tuesday with singles match play. Sunday will feature four-ball match play and Monday the juniors will play foursome match play. The public is invited to watch.
“This event has such a positive impact for the youth of Hawaii and Japan, as well as for the Big Island of Hawaii and local charities,” says Mark Wang, president and CEO, Hilton Grand Vacations. “Our participants are some of the very best young men and women golfers in the Pacific Region who enjoy the chance to forge friendships with those from another culture, all while competing at the highest level of skill and sportsmanship.”
Of the 16 players from Hawaii, three are representing the Big Island in Lacey Uchida, Pono Yanagi and Isaiah Kanno, all from Hilo.
The APJC recognizes and rewards the abilities of young golfers from Hawaii and Japan, while raising awareness and funds for a variety of local charitable organizations. The APJC is an educational and recreational event where talented young men and women from different cultures compete in a positive and friendly atmosphere with the potential of creating long-lasting bonds.
The event started with the vision of Wang, president and CEO of Hilton Grand Vacations, and Mary Bea Porter-King, president of Hawaii State Junior Golf Association (HSJGA), who wanted to foster goodwill between Hawaii and international players in a fun environment. The event was hosted by Waikoloa Kings’ Course for the first 10 years then went to Japan in 2016 and 2017. The event will now rotate every other year between Hawaii and Japan.
“For 12 years, the Asia Pacific Junior Cup has brought together the best junior golfers from Hawaii/USA and Japan. We are very excited to once again see the level of skill that has brought these juniors to this unique competition,” Porter-King said. “It promises to be a wonderful experience for all the juniors playing in this international tournament, all of whom are exceptional young men and women with a proven track record on and off the course.”
Lacey Uchida, Hilo
Pono Yanagi, Hilo
Isaiah Kanno, Hilo
Kaylee Akagi, Mililani
Lana Calibuso-Kwee, Wailuku
Joshua Chung, Honolulu
Kolbe Irei, Honolulu
Peter Jung, Honolulu
Alex Kam, Honolulu
Karissa Kilby, Honolulu
Noah Koshi, Pearl City
Kyung Eun Lee, Honolulu
Davis Lee, Honolulu
Myah McDonald, Kaneohe
Jake Sequin, Honolulu
Jacob Torres, Aiea