January 11, 2009, The Plantation Course, Kapalua, Maui:
Jeff Ogilvy is the new 2009 Mercedes-Benz Championship winner. However, after stellar play all week, it wasn’t a breeze on Sunday: the 31-year old player started the day with a six-shot lead, only to find it whittled away to just one stroke after eight holes. Ogilvy fought hard for the next 10 holes to maintain his lead over Anthony Kim, finishing in a six shot victory at 24 under.
In his fifth PGA TOUR victory, the Australian golfer accepted the trophy along with a million dollar check and the keys to a new convertible Mercedes-Benz SL550. With a huge grin, Ogilvy said that beginning the PGA season here in Kapalua was “the best way to start the year. The golf course is unbelievable.”
Ogilvy also thanked the tournament officials and volunteers. So did Gary Planos, Tournament Chairman and the Kapalua Resort’s VP of Operations, who commended those who worked tirelessly to make the 2009 tournament one of the most enjoyable yet:
“On behalf of Mercedes-Benz USA, the PGA TOUR, The Golf Channel and Kapalua Resort, I would like to thank you for your tremendous efforts with the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Championship. The entire resort once again joined forces to show the participants, sponsor, patrons, volunteers, professional networks, and the world of golf what a great place this is because of its people. Your hard work and smiles were recognized by everyone with the event and we really appreciate this.”
Also benefiting from the hard work of the volunteers and Gary Planos’ and Nancy Cross’ Event’s Management Staff are many Maui Charities. I spoke with Rob Shelton, of the Lahainaluna High School Foundation, who explained that the tournament has been a vital part of their fundraising. Supporting their “mission to provide our high school students with a superior education.” There are two components to this: the funds that are raised through the tournament go to programs like baseball, tennis, golf, hotel travel and more. Additionally, the silent auction benefits the high school, and goes back to all of the programs and services that tie into the foundation’s mission statement. For more information visit www.lahainalunahighschoolfoundation.com