Kapalua Golf leader gets sponsor exemption to compete in PGA Tour Champions event
Michael Castillo, the head golf professional at Kapalua Golf’s Plantation Course, has been awarded a sponsor exemption to compete in the 2023 Cologuard Classic by Exact Sciences, a PGA TOUR Champions event to be played March 3 through 5 at Omni Tucson National Resort in Tucson, Ariz., according to a news release issued today.
Castillo, 60, has battled colon cancer for five years and the disease has progressed to his liver and lungs. He’s been through chemotherapy and radiation. In January, Castillo competed in the PGA TOUR’s Sony Open in Hawai’i after winning the Aloha Section PGA Championship last September (he birdied the final hole to win by one). The Sony Open was Castillo’s PGA TOUR debut and the Cologuard Classic will mark his PGA TOUR Champions debut.
“The phone call last week from the team at Exact Sciences was incredible, I really couldn’t believe it,” Castillo said in the news release. “I was sitting at my desk going through the normal grind of the job and this opportunity presents itself. Our (Kapalua Golf) General Manager Alex Nakajima, who sits across the way, looked up with a smile and said you have to go. Over a 12 month span it’s been a club pro’s dream – winning our PGA Section championship, playing in the National Sr. PGA Professional Championship, The Sony Open, now the Cologuard Classic, and in May the National PGA Professional Championship.”
Castillo has been the head golf professional at Kapalua’s Plantation Course since October 2019. He has 30-plus years of golf hospitality experience.
Over that time, Castillo has led the golf operations at clubs throughout Hawai’i and California, including TPC Valencia, Big Canyon Country Club, Princeville Makai Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course.
Castillo will be joined in the Cologuard Classic field by defending tournament champion Miguel Angel Jimenez, 2020 Cologuard Classic champion Bernhard Langer, 2018 tournament champion Steve Stricker, plus Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Jerry Kelly and Colin Montgomerie.
In total, the 2023 Cologuard Classic will feature a 78-player field competing for a $2.2 million purse, with $330,000 to the winner.
For more information on Kapalua Golf, visit its website.