Familiar faces top Marianas Classic


From left, 2018 Marianas Classic awards ceremony host and IT&E’s Hans Mickelson, Freddie Cataluna, Edward Lee, and Ryan Kim pose for a photo after the presentation of prizes and trophies last Saturday at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Perennial golf tournament winners lived up to high expectations after emerging as top finishers in the 2018 Marianas Classic held on the east course of the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort last Saturday.

Ryan Kim, who ruled the Championship Flight of last month’s Governor’s Tournament of Champions, returned to the Kagman facility and tamed the 18-hole course with his 4-under par 68 to take the place first honors in the Low Gross category of the tournament organized by IT&E, IP&E, and Bank of Guam. Kim won by three strokes against CNMI junior golfer Edward Lee (one-under par 71), while veteran Freddie Cataluna rounded out the Top 3 after shooting a 2-over par 74. Cataluna won in a playoff (hole No. 17) against Jun Hun Park.

Kim, Lee, and Cataluna received trophies and cash prizes during the awards presentation hosted by IT&E’s Hans Mickelson and attended by IT&E chief executive officer James Oehlerking, Bank of Guam’s chief executive officer Joaquin Cook, IP&E managing director Brian Bamba, and other officials of the three companies.

In the women’s Low Gross, another familiar face won the top honors with Yuko Togawa beating six other female players. Togawa fired a 6-over par 78 to finish ahead of Yoo Chang Hee (79), Sunny Hyun (82), Jeon Me Ae (83), Yoon Seo Ja (86), Ahn Young He (110), and Jaime Pangelinan (112).

In the men’s Low Net, Frederico Flores placed first after scoring 69.60. He had an 8.4 handicap and registered a gross score of 78. Joining Flores in the podium were Ron Benavente and Alex Tudela, who posted net scores of 70 and 70.40, respectively.

More than 100 registered for the inaugural tournament and proceeds from last weekend’s competition will be donated to Make A Wish Foundation, Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, and Autism Society of the CNMI.

“We would like to give something back to the community so we thought about organizing an event and donating its proceeds to non-profit organizations in the CNMI,” Oehlerking said in a brief message during the awards ceremony.

“We will be doing this tournament every year and hopefully make it one of the premier competitions here. We will definitely have a bigger and better tournament next year,” Cook added.

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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