1983 Kapalua International
Greg Norman won the inaugural Kapalua International by a whopping eight shots at the Arnold Palmer-designed Kapalua Bay course on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. This was Norman's first professional victory in the United States.
|Venue:||Plantation Course, Kapalua Golf Resort|
Australian Takes Kapalua In Hawaii
Greg Norman won this week's inaugural Kapalua International by a whopping eight shots at the Arnold Palmer-designed Kapalua Bay course on the Hawaiian Island of Maui. This was Norman's first professional victory in the United States. While not an official PGA Tour event, it is nevertheless a significant milestone for Norman and will no doubt do wonders for his confidence. And Norman's $100,000 harvest is by far his biggest check to date.
This pro-am event is an interesting development as it rounds out the PGA Tour calendar. Many inquisitive minds wonder if the event will stand the test of time. The money is certainly attractive and Norman, a new resident of Orlando, Fla., put everyone on notice that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Norman was on the verge of winning the Bay Hill Classic in his newly adopted hometown, but he lost in a playoff to Mike Nicolette.
Kapalua provided the Australian with conditions comparable with Bay Hill, and also similar to courses in Queensland. The unpredictable greens and prevailing Pacific winds, however, pulled many approach shots offline and provide players with a stiff challenge.
Norman's ball-striking prowess afforded him the option of punching many second shots, so he fought the venerable crosswind. As such, the ocean breeze had little negative effect on his play this week.
The first round went to Bob Gilder with a five-under 66. Norman was the closest pursuer after opening with a 67. In the second round, Scott Simpson fashioned a course-record 65 and German Bernhard Langer carded a 66. They were locked for the halfway lead on 135. Norman, who shot 69 Friday, was again just one stroke off the pace.
Norman birdied five holes on the front nine in the third round and waltzed home with a 65 of his own, which gave him a two-shot lead over Langer. Norman had a couple tense moments early in the final round, particularly when he nearly took his ball out of play on the first hole. He settled in and enjoyed a five-shot advantage with nine holes to play.
It was sun and fun all the way to the finish, and Norman carded an impressive four-round total of 16-under 268. Norman now has six top-10 finishes on the U.S PGA Tour. He certainly made everyone sit up and take notice at the 1981 Masters Tournament and the PGA Championship, finishing outright fourth and joint fourth respectively. A sign of many bright moments to come.