Veteran ball striker Jess Wabol fired an even-par 72 to claim the fifth men’s Micronesian Games qualifier held last Saturday, April 8, at the Laolao Bay Golf Resort west course.
Shooting from the more challenging blue tee, the former Oleai Elementary School principal shot a sterling 34 on the front nine and a 38 on the back to edge fellow top guns Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho and Sasaki Oliver by two and three strokes, respectively.
Camacho made up for a lousy 39 on the front nine by taming the greens and fairways with a 35 on the back to finish at two-over 74. Oliver, for his part, came away with a 39 on the front before playing much better in the back with a 36 for a three-over 75.
Jeff Taylor was fourth in the 12-man field after the DFS Saipan official carded a six-over 78 following a 37 on the front and 41 on the back. NMASA Hall of Fame inductee Tony Satur finished fifth after going 41-39 for a gross score of eight-over 80.
Alex Aquiningoc (85), Rick Kautz (88), Tony Benavente Jr. (89), Jack Sablan (90), Louie Tilipao (94), Richard Pierce (107), and John L. Babauta (107) complete the men’s cast during last weekend’s qualifier.
In the women’s side, Noriko Togawa held fort after shooting a nine-over 81 in the ladies’ latest qualifier. She had a 39 and 42 on the front and back nines.
Shiori Onoue was second after she went 42 and 43 for a solid 85, while Emily Santos of Laolao Bay Golf Resort and former CUC executive director Lorraine Babauta finished tied at third after both women registered identical 88s.
Aya Matsumoto (95) and Yuko Togawa (101) make up the rest of the women’s field that participated Saturday.
Wabol, who is also coordinating the series of qualifiers organized to pick the CNMI National Golf Team for the quadrennial event, is expected to pick five golfers for the men’s team and same number for the women’s team a month or two before the start of the Micro Games, which is set from June 23 to July 3 on Saipan.
For more information about the qualifying rounds for the 6th Micronesian Games, contact Wabol at 288-1129.