Demapan wins SGA Ace of Aces


Joe Demapan shows the championship trophy that he won after topping the 2017 SGA Ace of the Aces Tournament held last month at the Kingfisher Golf Links. (Contributed Photo)

Joe Demapan banked on a strong first round to rule the 2017 Saipan Golfers Association Ace of Aces Tournament held last month at the Kingfisher Golf Links.

Demapan, who took the SGA August Ace to qualify for the season-ending competition, fired a net 65 in the opening round and followed it up with a 73 in the second for a total of 138 or six strokes ahead of his closest pursuer.

The eventual club champion led by five shots against Steve Balakrishna after Round 1, which was played in the morning of the Dec. 23 competition, as the latter finished with a 70 after 36 holes. Demapan’s best net score in the opener gave him enough cushion despite slowing down in the final round that took place in the afternoon.

Balakrishna carded a 74 in Round 2 to miss the championship and settle for second place honors after recording 144. John Lizama, who had the lowest net in the second round with 72, was ranked third as he started slow with his 74 in the opening round for a 146 total

Alex Tudela, Larry Deleon Guerrero, Ed Manibusan, and Das Krishnan rounded out the finishers that were recognized during the tournament’s awards ceremony held last Dec. 27 at the Charley’s Cabaret of the Pacific Islands Club.

Tudela showed consistency in last month’s competition after tallying a pair of 74s for a 148 total, while Deleon Guerrero had a good first round with his 72, but failed to keep his momentum as he posted a 77 in Round 2 for a 149. Manibusan and Krishnan earned similar scores of 150 in two rounds as both shot a 76 in the first and 74 in the second.

Besides placing No. 7 in the rankings, Krishnan also won the longest drive contest on No. 7 in the second round, while Ray Salas took the same award in the first. On hole No. 14, the longest drive winners were Juan Lizama in Round 1 and Juan Babauta in Round 2.

In the closest-to-the-pin competitions, Balakrishna and Tudela prevailed on No. 6 in the first and second round, respectively; James Nelson and Jung Eun Teack on No. 8; Deleon Guerrero and Demapan on No. 12; and Tudela and John “Nanni” Cruz on No. 15.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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