Diwain Stephens topped the Refaluwasch Golf Association October Ace qualifying tournament last Saturday to move one step away from clinching this month's title.
Stephens survived the tough weather at the Kingfisher Golf Links and carded a net 68 to prevail against 10 others and set the score to beat in RGA's next tournament later this month. If no RGA member scores better than 68 in the Oct. 27 competition, also at Kingfisher, Stephens gets to keep the October plum and qualifies for the RGA Club Championships set for this December.
Stephens will be able to join early qualifiers and month winners Ki Soo Kim (January), Tony Rogolifoi (February), Jordon Kosam (March), Joe Saures (April), Lawrence Camacho Jr. (May), Tars Olopai (June), Ray Tigilau (July), Ahn Hun Jin (August), and Manny Mangarero (September).
Stephens strengthened his chances for the October Ace title after a good start in last weekend's qualifier, as he drilled a 33 on the front tine. He began the round with a birdie on the par-5 hole No. 1. The veteran golfer also birdied the par-4 No. 16, missing an eagle just 3 inches, and ended up with a 44 on the back nine.
“I'm just playing shots by shots and maintaining my strike, which helped me get on the greens. This time of the day, under heavy downpour, was just not the favorable day for golfers. I just played my game well today” Stephens was quoted as saying in an email sent to Saipan Tribune yesterday.
Stephens won by four strokes against Henry Liang (72), while Mangarero rounded out the Top 3 with his net 73. Other RGA members who joined the rain-soaked qualifier were Saures (73), Tars Olopai (77), Tom Tebuteb (78), Ron Choi (78), Kosam (8), Tigilau (82), Ahn Hun Jin (83), and Rogolifoi (86).
Membership meeting tomorrow
Meanwhile, RGA will be holding a general membership meeting tomorrow at 5pm at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Members and other interested individuals are invited at the meeting.
RGA also announced that check-in time for the October qualifier is set for 11am while tee off is at 12pm.