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The Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational golf tournament opens Sunday at Hokuala

NAWILIWILI — The Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational golf tournament will be contested on Kaua‘i at the Ocean Course at Hokuala starting on Sunday.

The tournament features 10 teams that are ranked in this week’s NCAA Division I Top 100, including No. 19 Arizona State and No. 29 North Carolina. The event marks the first time that the tournament has not been contested on Oahu.

“The talent level in women’s college golf continues to become stronger and deeper,” said Annika Sorenstam, a World Golf Hall of Fame member and two-time Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational winner. “The college system has been a proven platform to prepare women for the professional ranks. The beauty of the surroundings is something that I have always remembered. It is hard not to be grateful when you’re playing in Hawai‘i.”

The Ocean Course at Hokuala marks another first as the University of Hawai‘i women’s golf team is among the field of 15 participating collegiate teams. On the roster for the 54-hole tournament are Arizona State, Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai‘i, Long Beach State, Mercer, Morehead State, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rutgers, Sacramento State, San Francisco, Texas State, Tulane and Washington.

Sacramento State is the two-time defending champion for the tournament that was named in honor of the University of Hawai‘i’s first women’s athletic director.

Hawai‘i, which posted its lone Donnis Thompson title in the inaugural year in 1986, finished last year’s play eighth overall with a 915 team total. Among this year’s field, Wendy Song tied for 34th, and Monica Johnson tied for 59th.

Teams will play 18 holes a day starting Sunday through Tuesday with a 9 a.m. shotgun start on each day. Live scoring will be provided through SMART Golf.

The tournament previously known as the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, was renamed the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational in 1999.

Dr. Thompson, who was an avid supporter of women’s equality, was inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor in 1988 for her tremendous achievements and many contributions to the University of Hawai‘i Athletics. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 75.
Source: The Garden Island

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