CNMI national golf team mainstays Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho and Marco Peter laid waste to the competition to rule the Inaugural Commonwealth Cancer Association Golf Open Fundraising Tournament last Saturday at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.
Camacho and Peter, who both sport a zero handicap, fired a team low gross best score of 13-under par 59 to win the two-man scramble tournament. They beat Joung Hoon Park and Sun Ho Kang, who finished with a 10-under par 62, and Jian Zhi Min and Zhi Zhi Min, who fired a 7-under par 65. Third place went to the Zhis after they were the only pair who birdied hole No. 4.
For the win, Camacho and Peter took home the top purse of $800, while Park and Kang split the $650 runner-up prize. The Zhis pocketed gift certificates to retain their amateur status.
Peter said an eagle in hole No. 13 really helped their cause. “Hole No. 13 really helped us. I drove it some 80 yards out and from there Joe putt it in for the eagle. It was a one-hopper.”
In all, Camacho said they had nine birdies and two eagles. “We had two eagles and we hit them in the two par-4s. We got in the green with some par-4s so that really helped us. Joe had near aces in two holes,” added Peter.
Their win in the CCA golf fundraiser also served as an advance Father’s Day gift for both Peter and Camacho, especially for the latter who aside from winning the low gross also won closest to the pin in holes No. 4 and 6.
“We have to buy [this table] pizza!” joked Camacho, who repeatedly was called “sandbagger” during the three times he went up to the front to get his prizes.
He later said that he doesn’t understand the catcalls since he’s already in the championship flight.
“We really left a lot out there,” joked Peter, who is also the Pacific Mini Games 2022 Organizing Committee chairman. “Joe was just amazing. We had zero bogeys… The good thing with Joe is the older he gets the longer his drives go.”
In the end, the champion duo was just happy to win and contribute to a good cause. “It’s a great day for golf with great weather and great people,” said Peter.
“It’s all for a great purpose,” said Camacho, who added that playing with Peter wasn’t the original plan as he was supposed to partner with son, Xerxes. The two were the champions of the recent Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Scholarship Golf Tournament that was also held at the Kagman golf course.
“It’s a privilege to play with Marco. It was the first time we played together. I was supposed to play with my son but he had work.”
Camacho almost aced holes No. 4 and 6, landing the golf ball within 7.6 feet and 2.4 feet, respectively. Others who won in the closest to the pin were J.J. Concepcion in hole No. 11 (6.5 feet) and Joe Torres in hole No. 15 (10 inches).
CCA executive director Juan L. Babauta congratulated the winners and thanked everyone who took part in the non-profit organization’s first foray into a golf fundraising tournament. He also thanked all the sponsors and volunteers who made the event a rousing success, adding that funds raised in the CCA Golf Open Fundraising Tournament will benefit the CCA’s programs and essential services.