Junior golfers conclude season with championship tournament
LAHAINA — The Lahaina Junior Golf Association culminated its second year with a championship tournament on Nov. 13-14 at the Kapalua Bay Course and the Kaanapali Kai Course, respectively.
Program Director Don Rosenthal reported that 36 youths participated in the second year of the program that began in July with clinics, continued to training and practice in August and led to the competition season from mid-September through mid-November.
“I am so happy with the way that things turned out,” said Commish Rosenthal last week. “The Good Lord has blessed us once again, the sponsors and parents have stepped forward to support the program, and Suti Nitakorn and Mike Jones have opened the doors for us.”
Nitakorn, golf director at Kaanapali, and Jones, the golf director at Kapalua, serve as vice presidents of the LJGA and, according to Rosenthal, have continued to serve and support the youth of West Maui through their respective resorts.
“It is just unbelievable what these two have done to help the kids in our community,” Rosenthal said. “For our program and for the Lahainaluna High School golf team, they have stepped forward and taken youth golf to a higher level.”
In the LJGA Championship Tournament, the field of junior golfers was divided into three divisions — Gold, Silver and Bronze — and the winners were based on their two-day totals.
The Gold Division first place winner was Malu Rosenthal at 148, followed by James Horton at 150, Noah Klipstein third with a 154 and Tyler Armijo fourth at 155.
In the Silver Division, Tristan Villa totaled 156 for first place, followed by Wilma Elefante in second carding a 171, Kaimi Kanaha third at 173 and James Foster fourth shooting 175.
The Bronze Division winners were Reece Guzman in first place at 183, Jensen Powley second with a 185, Susi Nomoa third carding a 186 and Caylyn Villatora at 191.
Noah Klipstein in the Advanced Division and Kaimi Kanaha in the Intermediate Division were named the overall season winners and awarded Lahaina Cup Champion trophies at the awards ceremony following the second day of the tournament.
The ceremony was held at the Kaanapali Driving Range, with food and refreshments provided by Roy’s Kahana and the Royal Lahaina Resort.
“Boy, there was some great food at the awards ceremony — many thanks to Roy’s and the Royal Lahaina for that. It’s really great to see all these people, organizations and businesses getting involved and helping us out. This is really shaping up to be a great junior golf program for our community. I’m a happy camper right now,” concluded Rosenthal.