Department of Lands and Natural Resource Secretary Anthony “Tony” Benavente hit a 2-over-par 74 to top the Senior Flight of the Northern Marianas College’s 16th Annual Foundation Golf Tournament held last Saturday at the east course of the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.
The NMSA Hall of Famer, who has participated in the annual golf tourney for the past 16 years, bagged his first ever win after scoring a 2-under par 34 in the front nine and a 4-over par 40 in the back to finish with a gross score of 74.
Benavente received a $500 cash prize to go with his newly acquired title.
The highlight of Benavente’s game was when he eagled the par-5, 472-yard, hole No. 3 followed by two birdies in par-3, hole No. 4 and par-4, hole No. 5.
“Everything turned out well in my game and eventually with the eagle, birdie, and birdie, it brought down my score and finished with a 74 to win the Senior Flight,” he said.
Benavente said it was a lucky day and despite the heat, the tournament turned out to be a great success.
“It was truly a great game today. It was hot and a long wait but this was a beautiful tournament, and we wish for it to continue on to the future,” he said.
Benavente added that his win was a mix of sheer luck and effort, stating that he tried his best and it paid off in the end.
Meanwhile, additional awards given out last Saturday were the closest to the pin awards. NMC awarded Gov. Ralph DLG Torres the award after getting 7 feet 6 inches close in the par-3 hole No. 11. Also earning KP awards for hole No. 11 were Joe Tudela who came 16. 9 feet close and Tars Olopai who came in 39 feet and 4 inches close.
Jerome Sablan, Marco Peter, Sylvio Ada, and Aaron Benavente also received closest to the pin awards for hole No. 8.
For hole No. 6, Gilah Yoon received the closest to the pin award for getting 6 feet 7 inches close to the pin followed by John San Nicolas at 22 feet. Joey Dela Cruz came within 23 feet and 8 inches, closely followed by Jim Arenovski who came within 23 feet and 11 inches.
Gilah Yoon also came closest to the pin in hole No. 4 at 2 feet followed by Freddie Cataluna who came in 2.8 feet close.