Last Update :8/28/2008

US Open Qualifier held on Tournament North Course May 15, 2004


May 20, 2004

Melissa Ludwig

(808) 357-7248


Classic Resorts President, Local PGA Pro, and 16 Year Old Phenom Advance in U.S Open Qualifier at Kaanapali Golf Courses


(MAUI, Hawaii) – Local resident Peter Rice earned medallist honors by firing a 68 to lead a group of three advancing after the first-ever U.S Open Qualifier in Hawaii, held at Kaanapali’s legendary Tournament North Course on May 15th.


Born and raised in Watertown, CT, Rice relocated to Maui in 1983 as the President of Classic Resorts, which operates the Kaanapali Alii and four other resort properties in Hawaii. As a frequent player at the Kaanapali courses for more than 21 years, Rice was buoyed by exceptional putting on his way to a 68.


“Kaanapali’s Tournament North Course is in fantastic shape,” says Rice. “The excellent course conditions were the talk of the day, the pureness of the greens in particular.”


Advancing along with Rice to the U.S Open Sectional Qualifier on Monday, June 7th, are Brian Sasada and Kellen Watabu, who both finished four strokes back.


Sasada, a local PGA professional from Makena Resort Golf Courses, boasts a long list of tournament accolades, most recently as the winner of the 2004 Maui Tournament Player’s Club Tournament. Sasada was also the Maui Open champion in 2000 and earned recognition as the 2000 Aloha Section PGA Player of the Year.


The 16 year old Watabu is one of the most respected and recognized junior players in Hawaii. Hailing from Wailua Municipal Golf Course, he is a six-time Junior World participant and was the 2003 OJGA Pearl Junior Open champion.


Cory French, Kristopher Kitt, Kirk Nelson and Guy Hashiro will serve as alternates, after shooting 73, 73, 75 and 75 respectively.


This prestigious event featured some of the best professional and amateur players from the region vying for entry into this year’s U.S Open, to be held June 17th-20th at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, New York.


“We are delighted with the results of this historic event,” says Ed Kageyama, General Manager at the Kaanapali Golf Courses and PGA of America Aloha Section President. “The Tournament North Course here at Kaanapali provided a true test of golf for those attempting to qualify for this year’s U.S Open, and we wish to commend the stellar play of those advancing to the sectional qualifying.”


From 1987 to 2000, the Tournament North Course was traversed by professional golf legends Hale Irwin, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Lee Trevino and Tom Weiskopf as the host site of the Senior PGA Tour’s Kaanapali Classic.


The 6,555 yard, par-71 Resort South Course has many holes running along natural canals, gulches and lava rock boundaries. The layout was redesigned in 1976 by architect Arthur Jack Snyder, who created a more forgiving golf course with subtle, undulating greens to craft an experience enjoyed by golfers of all abilities.


The Kaanapali Golf Courses are managed by BCG, which has provided turnkey-management services since October 2003, helping to restore the courses to pristine condition. BCG owns or operates more than 45 resort, daily-fee and municipal courses in 15 states, including the internationally acclaimed Puakea Golf Course on Kauai.


For more information on any of the U.S Open Qualifiers, please call the Hawaii State Golf Association office at (808)-589-2909 or send an email to


For more information on the Kaanapali Golf Courses, please visit or call toll free (866) 454-GOLF.


About Billy Casper Golf

Billy Casper Golf, headquartered in Northern Virginia, was founded in 1989 by Peter Hill and Robert Morris in cooperation with professional golf legend Billy Casper, the Masters and two-time U.S. Open winner who ranks sixth all-time with 51 PGA Tour wins. BCG serves its clients through three divisions:  Billy Casper Golf Management, the full-service manager to golf-property developers, owners and government agencies; Buffalo Communications, the publicity and media-relations agency representing people, places, products, services, organizations and companies in golf; and Buffalo Golf Trail, the golfer rewards network of BCG courses nationwide providing consistent, high-quality golf experiences. For more about BCG, visit, e-mail or call 703.761.1444.

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