Fujikawa to Turn Pro

Sixteen-year-old Tadd Fujikawa has announced that he will forfeit his amateur status to pursue a professional golf career.

"I am very excited to announce my decision to become a professional golfer in Hawaii where my passion to play golf began," said Fujikawa. "I look forward to beginning this journey and competing against the greatest golfers playing the game today. This was a big decision and I am very grateful for the support I have received from my family, friends and the people of Hawaii. I will work hard to achieve my dreams as a professional golfer and to be a good representative for Hawaii."

The Fujikawas have engaged Kevin Bell and the law firm of Patton Boggs LLP to act as Tadd's attorney-agent. Bell is a partner with the firm's intellectual property department.

Discussions with various companies regarding endorsements are ongoing. "Several companies have expressed interest in endorsing Tadd and supporting his golf career," said Bell. "It is important to Tadd that he develops relationships with sponsors that are a positive representation for both parties. There has been significant interest from companies based in the United States and Asia."

Fujikawa is currently scheduled to compete in the Reno-Tahoe Open, July 30th-August 5th thanks to an unrestricted sponsor exemption extended to him. He currently intends to seek additional sponsor exemptions or otherwise qualify for tournaments on the PGA Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO) and Nationwide Tour for the remainder of 2007 and 2008. He will also be exploring opportunities to play other international events.

Fujikawa was born in Honolulu on January 8, 1991, to Lori and Derrick Fujikawa. After becoming a four-time national judo champion from the ages 8-11, he turned to golf. In 2006, he became the youngest player to ever qualify for the U.S. Open. At this year's 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii, Tadd became the second youngest player in 50 years to make a PGA Tour cut, where he finished tied for 20th place. The following month Fujikawa won the Hawaii Pearl Open against professional and amateur players from the United States and Japan, making him the youngest to ever capture that title.

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