JOHN A. BURNS CHALLENGE CUP
Established in 1973 by the second governor of Hawaii, the John A. Burns Challenge Cup is the most prestigious team competition between the amateur and professional associations in Hawaii. Burns served as governor of the state of Hawaii from 1962-1974 when he was succeeded by George Ariyoshi. His term was critical to Hawaii’s future as he focused on foreign tourism, promoted Hawaii as the center of oceanography, constructed the new State Capitol building and the expansion of the University of Hawaii. Stimulating the state’s construction economy, Burn’s pushed forward with the construction of Aloha Stadium to host university games, expanded the Honolulu International Airport with the new reef-runway and laid the ground work for Interstate H-3 with (then young) Senator Daniel Inouye.
Buried by the tremendous amount of political pressure for statewide growth, Governor Burns found solace in the game of golf. Joined by his close friend, PGA Professional Ronald Castillo, Sr., the two gentlemen would compete in a friendly, straight up match of amateur against professional. To the victor went the honor or bragging for one full week until they met again on the 1st tee.
Through their friendship, the match has grown into a twelve man team competition of amateurs (Hawaii State Golf Association) against professionals (PGA of America – Aloha Section), in a 54-hole Ryder Cup format event for the past 42 years. Although the event has been played on several Oahu courses, the tournament committee was honored when Mid-Pacific Country Club offered to be the host course in 2002. Burns grew up playing at Mid-Pacific and was a member for many years. The Burns family home is still in Kailua and his son (retired Supreme Court justice) James Burns is an honorary captain of the amateur team.
GOVERNOR’S CUP | TEAM SELECTION
The throughout the calender year professionals accumulate points from approved Aloha Section tournaments to earn a spot on the Governor’s Cup Professional team. The team is comprised of twelve professionals. The top seven (7) from the points list earn an automatic spot on the team. The next three (3) spots are awarded to the top three Aloha Section PGA players who earn points in the Aloha Section Omega Player of the Year point list. The last two (2) spots on the team are selected by the Captain.