Emily T Gail Talk Story with Kelly Fliear, Tournament Manager Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai January 17-21

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The 2017 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will be Tuesday January 17-Saturday January 21. The final round being on Saturday means football fans who love golf too can stay home and watch football on Sunday!!!! Kelly Fliear, Tournament Manager and I have worked together on this tournament for 20 years. We share some stories about what a wonderful week it is in so many ways. Meanwhile here are specifics ... . It's a PGA TOUR Champions tournament with official event champions of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, winners of the majors since 2012 and ten professionals by invitation with a minimum of five or more career victories, including one major. It's a wonderful event for spectators on the beautiful Hualalai Golf Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu. The Pro-Am is on Tuesday January 17-Wednesday January 18 and for the 54 hole stroke play event broadcast with a 1.8 million purse will be broadcast on NBC Golf Channel Thursday, Friday and Saturday January 19-21. Duffy Waldorf will defend. Advance tickets are available at pgatour.com/mec Week. $20 One Day Pass / $40 Tournament Pass (purchase on website) or at the Gate $25 Tournament Day Pass $ 50 Tournament Pass . The PGA Champions Tour players who have qualified for this years tournament are: Michael Allen, Billy Andrade, Woody Austin, Paul Broadhurst, Olin Browne, Mark Calcavecchia, Roger Chapman, Fred Couples, Joe Daley, Marco Dawson, Joe Durant, Carlos Franco, David Frost, Doug Garwood, Paul Goydos, Jay Haas, Kohki Idoki, Lee Janzen, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Bernhard Langer, Tom Lehman, Jeff Maggert, Scott McCarron, Rocco Mediate, Colin Montgomerie, Jesper Parnevik, Kenny Perry, Gene Sauers, Jerry Smith, Esteban Toledo, Kirk Triplett, Duffy Waldorf, Mark Wiebe, Ian Woosnam. The 10 sponsor exemptions include John Daly, Fred Funk, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Davis Love III, Sandy Lyle, Larry Nelson, Mark O’Meara, Tom Pernice Jr., Loren Roberts, Vijay Singh, Jeff Sluman, Jerry Smith, David Toms, Tom Watson Kelly Fliear, Tournament Manager and Brian Goin, head of PGA Tour Championship Management, Dave Senko, Senior Manager Communications at the PGA Tour, Pete Rolfing, PCR Sports< M and so many others who return each year. While we get an opportunity to see up close, Champions Tour players and be inspired by their golf, I think one of the best aspects of this event for the last 20 years is the funds that have been raised for local charities. The Rotary Club of Kona organizes the volunteers with Kris Hazard and Larry Webb continuing as volunteer co-chairs and in return the tournament donates to the Rotary Club of Kona Community Foundation. Big Island Junior Golf is one of the charities as well. I always look forward to Saturday when the keiki from the Big Island Junior Golf in Hilo sponsored by Mitsubishi come to the tournament after they play their own tournament at Mauna Lani Resort. They are knowledgeable golf fans and so enthused when getting autographs. While players are good with the fans, they are especially attentive to the juniors. In the past Tom Watson and Hale Irwin each year have a special interaction with the keiki joking and interacting with them as they signs autographs. I have friends who were junior golfers when this event started 20 years ago on the Big Island and no question being around this quality golf inspired my friends to practice, get on their high school team, earn college scholarships and a handful are now professional golfers. The Daniel R Sayre Foundation is another one of the charities. The Foundation was created by Dr. Frank and Laura Sayre in memory of their son Daniel who lost his life in a hiking accident 20 years ago in Pololu Valley. Recognizing the need for rescue equipment, the Daniel R Sayre Foundation with tremendous community support has raised well over a million dollars in monies and equipment for our Hawaii County Fire Department and Rescue Teams. David Marr III, Mark Rolfing, and Jay Radzavicz all with NBC Golf Channel return each year to be part of the broadcasts and reports from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship and lend their support for an event at Nanea with some of the Champions Tour players raising funds for the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association. The PGA Tour, Brendan Moynahan, Director of Golf Hualalai Golf Club and his staff, Kahu Billy Mitchell, “Uncle” Earl Regidor Manager, Ka’upulehu Cultural Center, the Four Seasons Resort staff and the volunteers have year after year created a world class event with players that just might inspire you to work on your golf game a little more or volunteer next year.

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