Behind the Scenes with Tadd Fujikawa
This gallery first ran with Alan Shipnuck's profile of Fujikawa in December 2007.
Tadd Fujikawa and his father, Derrick, went fishing in the waters off Sand Island in Honolulu, where Derrick has been a regular since he was a boy fishing with his dad.
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Fujikawa is focused primarily on improving his game, the foundation of which is a natural swing.
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Fujikawa and his mother stopped by Par Golf 72 in Honolulu to pick up his custom-made clubs by designer Carlton Masui.
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At Kapiolani Medical Center, Fujikawa showed nurses Delight Sato, right, and Susan Kau scars from operations he had as a baby. Born more than three months premature and weighing less than two pounds, he has topped out at 5'1" and 135.
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Ball striking is Fujikawa's strength, perhaps a surprise for someone who is so small. "Tadd's height would be an issue if he were a short hitter, but he's not," said Todd Anderson, Fujikawa's swing coach since July.
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Fujikawa has played eight tournaments as a pro, including three on the PGA Tour. His career earnings so far are $0, as he has yet to make a cut.
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Honolulu Country Club has graciously granted Fujikawa access to its facilities.
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This semester Fujikawa is on campus every morning for four classes: English, Japanese, marine science and piano.
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Fujikawa was offered a scholarship to the Punahou School, a bastion of the Hawaiian elite, but instead chose Moanalua, a large public high school. "I feel more comfortable there. It's more my kind of place," Fujikawa said.
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At the Salt Lake Judo Club, Fujikawa signed a photo of himself from the 2007 Sony Open.
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Fujikawa, right, practiced judo with his father. Tadd won his first junior judo national championship at age eight. "In judo he was like a wild animal," said Derrick, an instructor at the Salt Lake Judo Club. "All the kids were a head taller, but they would cry when they had to face him because they were so scared."
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Later Derrick and Tadd waded into waist-deep water to hunt octopuses with spears, poking into the holes where the mysterious creatures like to hide.
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After a heroic battle that lasted at least 10 minutes, Fujikawa reeled in a 17-pound ulua that was so big it wouldn't fit in the ice chest.
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The outing had to be crammed into the narrow window between Fujikawa's morning at Moanalua High and his afternoon as a pro golfer, chock-full as it was of media interviews, business meetings and a long practice session at Honolulu Country Club
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Fujikawa will be the center of attention at the Sony Open. To cash in on all that publicity, Tadd's attorney, Kevin Bell, has been ramping up discussions with potential sponsors, which is how Fujikawa recently found himself in a sterile conference room atop a Honolulu high-rise.
• Profile: Tadd Different
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