NAWILIWILI — The University of Hawai‘i men’s golf team will be returning to the Ocean Course at Hokuala for its second consecutive year when the 46th John A. Burns Intercollegiate golf tournament begins on Thursday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.
“The Burns” tournament, which runs through Saturday, has been held on Kaua‘i for the past eight years. The golf tournament moved to the Hokuala course in 2022 after seven years of play at Wailua Golf Course.
“We are so excited to host the John A. Burns Intercollegiate at the Ocean Course at Hokuala. Last year was our first year playing this Jack Nicklaus-designed course and the tournament got rave reviews from all the participating players and teams,” said Hawai‘i men’s golf head coach Scott Simpson in a UH Athletics press release.
“The Ocean Course at Hokuala is a fun, beautiful, and really challenging golf course. It has some great risk reward holes right next to the ocean, and some inland holes that remind you of Jurassic Park. It is in great shape with some fantastic greens.”
The tournament will feature a 21-team field that includes three teams ranked in the Top 20, headlined by 10th-ranked Texas A&M, 19th-ranked Arizona, and 20th-ranked San Diego State.
Eight other teams are ranked in the Top 100, including No. 53 Brigham Young University, No. 554 University of North Carolina Wilmington, No. 56 California, No. 57 Long Beach State, No. 63 New Mexico, No. 72 University of Southern California, No. 94 Washington State, and No. 96 Fresno State.
The remainder of the field includes host University of Hawai‘i, Grand Canyon, Loyola Marymount, Nevada, Sacramento State, Saint Mary’s, Santa Clara, Utah, UTEP, and UNLV.
The highest individual ranked golfer is No. 8 Ian Gilligan of Long Beach State.
According to a press release from the Hokuala, U.S. Amateur champion and Texas A&M fifth-year senior Sam Bennett is also competing in the tournament. During last year’s play, Bennett set a new Ocean Course at Hokuala single-round tournament record at 8-under 64 en route to his runner-up finish.
The tournament’s individual champion and two-time All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention Aaron Du of California will return to defend his title.
Walking spectators can attend for free with parking available on-site.
“On behalf of our front line staff at the Ocean Course lat Hokuala and Timbers Kaua‘i, we are excited to again host this prestigious event and welcome everyone back to Kaua‘i with aloha,” said Tom Freestone, the PGA Director of Golf at the Ocean Course at Hokuala.
“Our superintendent Ray Tacsiat and his team have worked hard to create first-rate tournament conditions for America’s best collegiate players. This year’s field is incredible. We invite our community to visit Hokuala to watch the amazing competition.”
The John A. Burns Intercollegiate is named after the former governor of Hawai‘i and was created by former UH head coach Robert Takano in 1977. Takano, who coached UH from 1976 to 1982, passed away last year at the age of 89.
“We’ll have a fun coaches challenge contest in the practice round as we remember Bob Takano,” Simpson said. “Bob started the John A. Burns Intercollegiate in 1977 and he got to see it grow into the great championship that it is today, with top teams coming from around the country to play.”
Live scoring is available through golfstat.com.
Source: The Garden Island