2023 Kā‘anapali Classic tees off to support Maui wildfire survivors
The University of Hawai‘i hosts the 9th annual Kā‘anapali Classic– Collegiate Invitational from Oct. 26-28. Annually a deep fall field in men’s college golf, 20 teams from 16 states will compete over three days for the Valley Isle title.
In partnership with 501(c)3 organizations Spare for Change and Member for a Day, a fundraising campaign has been launched to benefit Maui’s wildfire survivors, including Kā‘anapali Golf Courses’ own associates who lost everything.
The campaign has no minimum donation and no cost to register. The public is invited to help by:
- Making a one-time contribution of their choice.
- Pledge an amount of their choice for each birdie and eagle made by their favorite school.
Scores and fundraising updates will be shared after each round. Check back often to see which university’s team, fans and alumni raise the most amount for families in need across the island. Pledges will close on Oct. 28.
Following the Saturday, Oct. 28 trophy presentation on Kā‘anapali’s driving range at approximately 3 p.m., Hawai‘i men’s golf coach Scott Simpson, his players and multiple head coaches will lead a clinic for kids in the Maui Junior Golf Association and Lahaina Junior Golf Association.
Local children will be given one-on-one access to National Collegiate Athletic Association. Division I players and coaches, where they can discuss recruiting opportunities, course management techniques, swing tips and more.
A shave ice truck will serve complimentary treats to all attendees.
Dillon Jonke, who graduated in spring 2023 from Maui Preparatory Academy, will reunite with family and friends on Maui for the first time since he left for California State University, Northridge in early August, just days after the Maui wildfires.
Jonke was a key contributor on Maui Prep’s 2022 Hawai’i High School Athletic Association championship team, placing as the individual runner-up at the Kā‘anapali Golf Courses’ hosted event.
“I know that I’m gonna be all over the place. I’m gonna experience everything, remembering many fun memories as well as the hardship of knowing that that’s no longer there,” said Jonke. “Each team traveling to Hawai‘i cares about Kā‘anapali. We’re very thankful for the opportunity to play and show our appreciation for everyone on Maui.”
The current California State University, Northridge freshman noted in a recent interview that during this time last year, he attended a dinner with the University golf team in Lahaina town. Now, the restaurant and entire town have been destroyed.
During the final round of the 2022 Hawaiʻi High School Athletics Association Golf Championships at Royal Kā‘anapali, Maui Prep’s Dillon Jonke led the Pueo’s with an individual runner-up performance.
Air Force, Boise State, Clemson, Colorado, California State University, Northridge, Denver, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawai‘i, Kansas, Liberty, Louisiana Lafayette, Mount St. Mary’s, North Florida, Oklahoma, Sacramento State, San Jose State, UConn and Wyoming.
The Oklahoma Sooners will seek their fourth team title at Kā‘anapali.
ACC (1), ASUN (2), Big 12 (2), Big East (1), Big Sky (1), Big West (2), MAAC (1), Mountain West (5), Pac-12 (1), SEC (1), SoCon (1), Summit League (1) and Sun Belt (1).
Storied men’s golf programs that have captured the Kā‘anapali Classic team title include Oregon (2014), Oklahoma (2015, 2019, 2022), Clemson (2016), LSU (2017), California (2018) and Kansas (2021).
Four teams visiting Maui qualified for the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships: Colorado, East Tennessee State, Georgia and Oklahoma.
Eleven players in this year’s field are ranked in the top-100 of the PGA Tour University Rankings. Oklahoma senior Ben Lorenz is the tournament’s highest-ranked individual at No. 14.
“If there is any silver lining, it’s how people from all over the islands have really come together to support one another,” said Scott Simpson, seven-time PGA tour winner and current Hawai‘i men’s golf coach. “We consulted with everyone for two weeks to see if we would have the tournament. The debate centered on being sensitive to the recovery versus raising funds for those affected and creating a positive boost to the local economy, while drawing attention to Maui families still in need of financial assistance with our fundraising efforts. I think we made the right decision.”
Tournament attendance is free and walking spectators are welcome. Parking can be accessed
via Kā‘anapali Golf Courses and Whaler’s Village throughout the event.