Sony Open canceled for Wednesday, but UH freshman ready to play

David Saka
David Saka

By Mike Cherry - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On a wet and damp Wednesday morning most of the PGA's brightest were still settling into Waialae country club.

Jim Furyk requesting course passes for his friends and family. Reporters grabbing a free lunch at the buffet.

But while other pro's like Steve Stricker tried to avoid the rain, 18 year old David Saka, who will play in the Sony Open with an exemption, just tried to soak it all in.

"As a player how would you describe yourself? Are you strong off the tee?" I asked.

"No. I don't hit it very far, don't hit it very straight. Sometimes I get lucky I guess...and get it in the hole."

We may not know much about Davi...but he's definitely humble.

The University of Hawaii freshman has yet to play a competitive round in Manoa, but he's ready to tee up for the first time alongside some of the PGA's best Thursday morning.

Of course that's assuming he gets past being a little star struck.

"Yesterday I actually got to play a practice round with VJ Singh and Jim Furyk, that was amazing you know. I'm never going to be able to meet them or play golf with them except for yesterday. I was driving home and I was like wow... I met see them on tv all the time.

Saka's path to Waialae came through that very course when he won the Governors cup. Now his next step is to turn to his friends who know what it's like to walk in his footsteps.

Like, former high school teammate Tadd Fujikawa and current UH teammate TJ Kua, who became the first Rainbow golfer to play in the Sony last year.

"They were good examples of how to handle themselves. So I'll probably call them and learn from what they did and how they prepared for it."

As an amateur David can't collect a penny of the $5.5-million purse. Instead his goal this week is to represent his home state.

"It's a big responsibility. Growing up I've watched this tournament for a long time. People like Dean (Wilson) and Tadd, you admire them, because they really give Hawaii a good name. so I just hope I can do the same."

At around 1:10pm Hawaii time, Saka will get that chance. And even if the rain continues to fall and postpones his round one, he'll just soak all of that in too.

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