Harry tops championship flight

2021 Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic Tournament awards banquet at Saipan World Resort

Harry Nakamura, fifth from left, poses with other championship flight winners and Rotary Club of Saipan officials led by president Ivan Ilmov, sixth form left, during the 2021 Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic Tournament awards banquet at Saipan World Resort last Saturday. (MARK RABAGO)

Harry Nakamura was the lone golfer to finish with an even par en route to winning the championship flight of last Saturday’s Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic Tournament at the Coral Ocean Resort.

The 28-year-old Division of Customs officer fired a 36 in the front nine and the same score in the back nine to finish with an even par 72. The 2-handicapper’s tournament-best score went along with birdies in holes No. 9 and 17.

Nakamura, who has been playing golf since 2011, said last weekend’s Rotary golf was difficult on account of the weather.

“It was pretty tough. It was kind of raining and hot and then raining again. I just played it one hole at a time,” he said.

The member of the CNMI National Golf Team for next year’s Pacific Mini Games said he’s dedicating his first victory in the Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic to his family and friends.

He added that his win in the Rotary golf fundraiser is also a good prelude to his participation to next year’s Mini Games that the islands will hold for the very first time.

Aside from hitting the greens, Nakamura said he’s also training for next year’s quadrennial event by running three times a week—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Unlike the Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic and other fundraising golf competitions that allow players to use golf carts, next year’s Mini Games will be a walking tournament.

Coming in second to Nakamura in the premier division of the tournament was Franco Santos after he finished with a 6-over par 78. Third and fourth places went to Feng Chung Jin and Fred Cataluna with scores of 78 and 79, respectively. Santos nipped Jin for second via scorecard tiebreak.

For finishing first in the championship flight, Nakamura took home $500, while Santos settled for the $300 runner-up purse. Jin won $200 and Cataluna received $100 for finishing in the Top 4.

In the A flight, Joseph Muña took the cake with a 5-over par 75 built around a 40 in the first nine holes and a 37 in the last nine with birdies in holes No. 9 and 12.

Homerun hitter Ned Norita has successfully taken his long-ball tendencies to the golf course and finished runner-up with the same score as Muña, but lost out on a scorecard tiebreak. He came away with a 38 and a 39 in the front and back nines.

Benjamin Jones Jr. and Joshua Atalig finished third and fourth with scores of 79 and 81, respectively. The Kagman High School principal carded a 40-39 in the first and second half of the course, while the CNMI national golfer got his 81 via a 43 and 38.

Muña, Norita, Jones, and Atalig also received $500, $300, $200, and $100, respectively, for their Top 4 finish in the A flight.

Results of the other flights of last Saturday’s Rotary Goodwill Golf Classic Tournament will be published in the next issues of Saipan Tribune.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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