APRIL 17, 1974: Wendell Tom wins state golf tournament

Wendell Tom went on to become one of Hawaii's most successful golfers. Photo by Bruce Asato.

On this day in 1974, Wendell Tom gave McKinley its only HHSAA golf title.

Tom, a senior, beat Leilehua sophomore Kalua Makalena at Kuulima. The Tigers had never had a golf champion before and haven’t had one since.

Tom went on to play at USC with major champions Scott Simpson and Craig Stadler. He was inducted into the Hawaii Golf Hall of Fame in 2018, joining third-place finisher Clyde Rego.

Tom, who finished eighth in the state as a junior, took up the game at age 10 and had his first hole in one eight months later. He turned the trick at Bay View’s first hole with a 7-iron from 95 yards away.


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