By virtue of winning their respective flights last Sunday in the conclusion of the two-day 2015 Tournament of Champions, Dong Kyu Lee and Paul Kaipat will have to duke it out against tougher competition in the next edition of the TOC.
Lee won the B Flight after shooting a 15-over 159 during a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde weekend at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.
He started off with a horrendous 87 in the sunny first day of the region’s biggest golf event before reversing his fortunes in Day 2 with a stupendous low score of 72. The latter score he shot even as Typhoon Soudelor was bearing on Saipan.
Lee’s even-par score also matched Senior Flight winner Mark Rush’s 72 for the lowest score of the 20th TOC.
The next time you’ll see B Flight champion Lee teeing and putting in the TOC he will be strutting his stuff in the A Flight.
Three strokes behind Lee is Guamanian golfer Jeremy Looby who also shot well in the second day of the tournament even in the face of Category 1 typhoon conditions.
After firing a second-best 83 last Saturday, Looby attacked the ferocious winds of Soudelor with aplomb and improved his Day 1 score by four strokes to finish with a 79 last Sunday for a two-day total of 162.
Day 1 leader Preseil Azarcon’s game appeared not suited for extreme golf as his performance dipped like the island’s barometric pressure Sunday. After shooting an 81 last Saturday, Azarcon added two strokes Sunday to finish with a 165 two-day total, which relegated him to third place.
The fourth and fifth places in B Flight were occupied by Freddy L. Salavaria and Soon Hyung Kwon with their 170 and 172 two-day totals, respectively.
Salavaria submitted identical scores of 85 on the weekend, while Kwon’s 172 (91-81) edged out Vincent Mesa (90-82) for fifth place on a scorecard tiebreak.
Over in C Flight, Kaipat had a wire-to-wire win after shooting an 84 in the first day and an 89 in the second day. His prize for shooting a 173 is an automatic promotion to B Flight when the 2016 TOC rolls along next year.
Kaipat’s 84 was good enough for first on Saturday and his 89 matched the second day score of eventual runner-up Joseph T. Torres, who finished four strokes back at 177 (88 on Day 1).
A stroke back of Torres is John Antenorcruz of Guam who came in with a 95 on Saturday before adjusting his swing Sunday and improving with an 83.
Fourth and fifth place in the C Flight went to Hiroyuki Murata and James Diego Benavente with their 180 (87-93) and 181 (94-87), respectively.
Results of the Ladies Flight, Ladies Low Net, Seniors Flight, and Super Seniors Flight will be reported in the next issues of the Saipan Tribune.