Golf: Waiakea’s Kanno to compete in pro-junior event at Sony Open

  • Rick Winters/West Hawaii Today Waiakea junior Isaiah Kanno will team up with Patton Kizzire, the defending Sony Open champion, at Oahu's Waialae Country Club on Tuesday.

Waiakea’s Isaiah Kanno will have an excused absence from school Tuesday. He’s going to trade shots with a PGA Tour pro.

As a Hawaii State Junior Golf Association champion, Kanno earned a spot in the Pro Junior Challenge, a three-hole alternate-shot event at Waialae Country Club on Oahu.

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The event is a precursor to the Sony Open, which tees off Thursday.

“I am looking forward to being in the professional environment and being able to learn and play with a professional golfer,” said Kanno said, an 11th-grader.

One of five juniors golfers in the event, Kanno will play with Patton Kizzire, the defending Sony Open champion.

Perhaps they can trade tips on how to win in a playoff.

Kanno won the state championship (ages 15-18) in extra holes in June at Hokulia, edging Kamehameha senior Pono Yanagi. Kizzire defeated James Hahn in a playoff last January, pocketing the Sony Open for his second PGA Tour title.

Each of the five teams – Maui High’s Reese Guzman, Hawaii Baptist’s Noah Koshi, Davis Lee 0f Mid-Pacific and Kyung Eun Lee of Iolani School also are teaming with a pro – will select one of their drives to play, then a junior golfer will hit from the position, alternating shots with the PGA Tour pro until finishing the hole.

“I’m really stoked and excited to participate in this great opportunity,” Kanno said. “I haven’t played anything like this before.”

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There will also be longest- drive and closest-to-the-hole competitions.

Kizzire finished eighth Sunday at the season-opening Tournament of Champions on Maui, closing with a 5-under 68 to finish 3-under at Kapalua and pocket $191,000.

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