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russellkeaneRussell Keane, executive chef and owner of Neo restaurant at Moss Creek Village, has been developing his epicurean skills since he was a young boy, when he and his military family lived in Germany and in various cities around the United States

Keane, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Charleston and longtime contributor to the Hilton Head Island culinary scene, got an early taste of kitchen life when his mother him to work at the age of 13 in the restaurant where she worked as a staff accountant.

He started peeling shrimp and shucking oysters in the fish market of Bowden’s Seafood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and worked his way into the kitchen of the main restaurant.

alfredketeringIt didn’t take much for chef Alfred Kettering to come out of culinary retirement.

“I retired but got bored,” said Kettering, currently the chef/owner at Alfred’s Restaurant, a charming, intimate German/Continental eatery outside of Palmetto Dunes that he opened in 2008.

After a decorated culinary career in Europe and the Lowcountry, Kettering had become an institution on the Hilton Head Island, the type of chef that locals and visitors tend to find wherever he may land. Over the years, Kettering has owned and helmed kitchens at several former island restaurants, including Maxwells, La Maisonette, Maxx and Jaxx.

Brendan-ReilleyWhen owner Tom Reilley decided to host a wintertime bash at his new restaurant at a time when most of his competition was closed for the season, little did he know that “from that point on, everybody knew who we were.”

His “Mash Bash,” which celebrated the final episode of the wildly popular television show “M*A*S*H” on Feb. 28, 1983, transformed his months-old Reilley’s Grill & Bar into a makeshift 4077th located in the heart of Hilton Head Island.

Two weeks later, Reilley’s sponsored the island’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which attracted more people than the 68-year-old Rhode Island native might have expected — about 20, not including law officers who threatened to shut the parade down before it even started because it didn’t have a permit.

In many ways, John Patterson fits the description of a typical Hilton Head Islander. He came to the area by way of Ohio, landing in the Lowcountry as a college intern at Colleton River Plantation and deciding to put down roots. Over the past 22 years, he has worked as a golf pro, an ongoing career in real estate and is raising his family to love the area.

If there’s a silver lining to a devastating diagnosis, Kylie Nizolek has certainly found it.

Nizolek was in fifth grade when she was airlifted one frightening day to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston from Hilton Head Hospital so doctors could better treat her weakened body and failing organs.

ANDREW-ORISCHAKJunior champ

Andrew Orischak has taken medalist honors at a U.S. Open qualifier, played in dozens of national tournaments and is ranked No. 2 in the nation among junior players by Golfweek.

All while he’s balancing school and homework, because he’s only 15.

“My rule has been to get my schoolwork done as soon as I can,” he said. “Then it’s all golf.”

The high school sophomore recently verbally committed to play golf for the University of Virginia — but only after he graduates from high school in 2017. But thinking big — and far into the future — isn’t too hard for this golf star.

“I’d really like to try to play professionally one day,” Andrew said. “But I’m also thinking of going to law school. Who knows?”

KRISTA-DUNTONKrista Dunton has worked with a lot of golfers — and a lot of would-be golfers.

The Berkeley Hall Club senior instructor led the women’s golf team while at the University of Michigan and competed on the Futures Tour, part of the LPGA, for four years.

These days, she works with Berkeley Hall members, visiting groups and other wannabe duffers looking to improve their swings. But that’s not all.

She also works with about 80 girls as part of the LPGA Girls Golf program, introducing them to the sport and helping them become more comfortable on the course. And once a month, she goes out to Parris Island to help injured Marines play adaptive golf, helping them overcome their physical limitations and score big on the course.

KEVIN KING, THE WINNINGEST GOLFER IN HHIAGA HISTORY, ISN’T ABOUT TO LET A FEW SURGERIES KEEP HIM FROM A LIFELONG PASSION.

When writing about sports, it’s tempting to go for the easy metaphor, the clichéd turn of phrase. Tiger has lost his bite. The Bulls get gored in the finals. The Patriots get deflated in the Super Bowl.

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But when a guy claims a record nine Hilton Head Island Amateur Golf Association championships, has played in the Senior British Open and is a freshly minted member of the Lowcountry Golf Hall of Fame, and his last name just happens to be King, you almost have to call him the king of Hilton Head Island golf.

Local golf champion shifting his focus to instruction

Tom McKnight of Bluffton’s Berkeley Hall has distinguished himself as an amateur, as well as a professional golfer.

McKnight, 60, a native of Galax, Virginia, took up golf as a teenager and eventually played on the University of Virginia golf team before graduating in 1976.

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