Final Mini Games golf team announced

Posted on May 19 2022

The CNMI National Golf Team for the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022. From left top row, coach Victor Salas, J.J. Atalig, Franco Santos, Zhi Li Yu, Joshua Atalig, and coach Ned Norita. From left front row, Janet Torres, Soarin Oh, Zhi Min Jin, and Rose Rohringer. (MARK RABAGO)

The Commonwealth Federation of Golf Associations presented the final eight golfers that will represent the CNMI in next month’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 during dinner Tuesday night at Aqua Resort Club.

Making up the team are J.J. Atalig and Franco Santos for the men’s team, Zhi Li Yun and Joshua Atalig for the men’s junior team, Janet Torres and Rose Rohringer for the women’s team, and Zhi Min Jin and Soarin Oh for the women’s junior team.

The alternates are Harry Nakamura Jr. (men’s), Joey “Kazu” Dela Cruz (men’s junior), and Nirimai Koebel (women’s).

The final eight-player roster for the national team and the three alternates were determined during a recent four-round tourney.

Atalig and Santos topped the men’s field with a 75 and 78.75 average, respectively. In the men’s juniors, Zhi and Joshua Atalig ruled the roost with their respective average scores of 81.25 and 85.5.

Torres (91.75) and Rohringer (95) had the best average scores among the women, while Zhi and Oh normed 80.75 and 93.5 in  the women’s juniors.

The average scores of the alternates were 79.5 for Nakamura, 94.5 for Koebel, and 89.5 for Dela Cruz.

The rest of the original 14-player CNMI national golf pool for the Mini Games was made up of Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho, Norman Peter “Dung” Tenorio, and Antonio “Tonchu” Norita.

Coaching the men’s and men’s juniors are Ned Norita and Victor Salas, while the women’s and women’s juniors will be coached by Yuko Togawa.

CFoGA president Edward Manibusan congratulated all the eight players that made the final cut as well as the three alternates backing them up. 

He also gave kudos to the rest of the officers of CFoGA, the national coaches, and the Mini Games Organizing Committee, led by chair Marco Peter, for supporting the sport of golf during the entirety of the selection process leading up to the Mini Games. 

“Since we started the qualifiers last year the players who are in the pool have been part of our family. We really appreciate the time they spent away from family that enabled them to do this and made sure they trained for the Mini Games. We all do this for the Commonwealth. This is a night that we want to present the team, finally, and also a night we want to show our appreciation to all of you who took part in this process to make sure  that we form a good team, a great team. We only have exactly a month before the Mini Games and we want to make everyone just remember we’re representing the CNMI in these Mini Games,” he said.

A total of 11 countries will take part in the golf competition of the Mini Games, which will be played at the Coral Ocean Golf Resort. Fiji, Guam, New Caledonia, Northern Marianas, and Solomon Islands will have eight golfers each. Papua New Guinea and Tahiti will be sending four apiece, while Cook Islands will have a three-person team. Both Samoa and Vanuatu will have two players each coming.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at
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