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TJ Kua and Todd Rego take home the title at the 2017 Kaanapali Classic Pro-Pro

By Staff | Jun 29, 2017

TJ Kua putts on the 14th green. PHOTOS BY MELISSA DUPUIS.

KAANAPALI – The team of TJ Kua and Todd Rego shot an impressive 63-63-126 (-16) the weekend of June 17-18 to earn the $2,200 purse and the championship title in the 2017 Kaanapali Classic Pro-Pro Championship sponsored by GPS Industries.

Defending champions Alex Chiarella and Alex Omer finished just one stroke back at 63-64-127 (-15) and earned $1,600 for second place.

This annual Kaanapali Aloha Section PGA tournament is a two-person best ball team event played over 36 holes.

Kua, an owner at Aloha Golf Center on Oahu, said, “Todd and I started practicing together when I turned pro (2012) and he was still an amateur. We’ve played together a few times in tournaments, so we know each others’ game. I can always count on Todd to play well; he’s reliable and we help each other out when needed.”

“I actually prefer playing Kaanapali in a little wind. It thins out the field a bit when the trades kick up, so we weren’t sure how today would end up,” he said, discussing Sunday’s conditions.

Defending champions Alex Chiarella (left) and Alex Omer finished just one stroke back at 63-64-127 (-15).

Kua recently came in tied for first in the Mid-Pac Open and lost in the sudden death playoff with Jared Sawada. He also won the Kaanapali Pro Pro Championship in 2013 with then playing partner Shawn McCauley.

Rego, golf assistant at Pearl Country Club, commented, “We played well this weekend. If one of us was in trouble, the other helped out. We made putts when we needed to – made some really good ones in the end today.”

Rego added, “The greens at Kaanapali played quick; the greens were nice. The wind was down today, and I don’t ever recall playing at Kaanapali without a little bit of trades, so it was definitely a different scenario out there today.”

Rego and Kua came in second place in the 2014 Nike 4-ball Match Play Championship. Rego also won the 2010 U.S. Army Hawaii Amateur Invitational Golf Tournament.

Chiarella and Omer were tied with Kua and Rego going into the final round Sunday and finished just one stroke back.

Chiarella and Omer were defending champions and played high school golf together at Seabury Hall. Chiarella won the Maui Open in 2016 and turned pro last spring, recently earning top five honors in the Arizona Open and top 15 in the Utah Open.

Chiarella commented on the round Sunday: “We knew where we stood all day today, and when you miss the title by one stroke, you can’t help but look back at every shot and think where you could have made it up.”

He continued, “We had great attitudes all day today – stayed positive out there. We struggled on #14 with our only bogey of the whole tournament but then bounced back with birdies on the par-3, 15 and 17 holes.”

On the final hole, both Omer and Chiarella had a chance at birdie to force a playoff with eight-foot and 15- foot putts, respectively. Omer’s putt lipped out on the high side, and Chiarella just missed his putt as well.

Chiarella said, “We both were so close on 18 today, and both of us just skirted the edge. It was a tough finish.”

For final results and photos, visit www.facebook.com/kaanapali. For more information about Kaanapali Golf Courses, visit www.kaanapaligolfcourses.com, call (808) 661-3691 or go to Instagram@kaanapaligolf and www.facebook.com/kaanapaligolf.