Lee, Nakamura rule Marianas Classic


Low Gross winner Edward Lee is flanked by IT&E’s Hans Mickelson, left, and IP&E’s Victor Cruz during the awards ceremony for the 2nd Annual Marianas Classic Golf Tournament held last Saturday at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Junior golfer Edward Lee and Harry Nakamura led the winners in the 2nd Annual Marianas Classic Golf Tournament held last Saturday at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort.

Lee topped the Low Gross category, while Nakamura prevailed in the Low Net division.

The 16-year-old had an even 72 on the 7,025-yard course to nose out fellow junior golfer Sebastian “Tiny” Camacho and Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho, who shot identical gross scores of 1-over par 73.

“Tiny” was ahead after the first nine holes with his impressive 3-under par 33, as he birdied the par-5 No. 3 and par-4 Nos. 5 and 8. Lee and “Kamikaze” had similar 2-over par 38s with the former having bogeys on the par-4 Nos. 1 and 7 and the latter getting an eagle on the par-5 No. 5 to make up for his double-bogey on par-3 No. 3.

Lee eventually overtook “Tiny” for the No. 1 spot, as the former birdied the par-5 No. 18 to finish the last nine holes at 2-under. Lee also had a birdie on the par-4 No. 10 and eagled the par-5 No. 14 to complete the comeback and notch his third straight victory in less than two months. The junior golfer ruled the 18th Annual HANMI Charity Golf Classic held last month and the 23rd Hyatt Regency Saipan Charity Golf Classic that took place late April.

“Tiny” settled for the third place finish after carding a 4-over 40 on the back nine, as he lost to “Kamikaze” in the scorecard tiebreak. The younger Camacho missed matching Lee’s gross scores, as he only saved par at the No. 18, while “Kamikaze” recorded a 1-under par 35 in the last nine holes after a birdie on No. 18.

Lee and the Pacific Games-bound Sebastian and Joe Camacho received in-kind prizes and trophies for their fetes.

Nakamura was awarded the same prizes after ruling the Low Net category with his 69.40. He had a 9.60 handicap and fired a gross 79 (42 on the front and 37 on the back). Joining Nakamura in the Top 3 were Sung Soo Lim and Diego Benavente, who recorded 70 and 70.20, respectively. Lim sported a 12 handicap and delivered 40 and 42 on the front and back nines for a gross 82, while Benavente’s 39 and 42 gave him a gross 81 (he had a 10.80 handicap).

Meanwhile, in the Ladies division Jeon Me Ae and Chang Hee Yoo were the Low Gross and Low Net winners.

Jeon shot a 78 to beat the 84 of Hyun Son, while Yoo had a net 72 to down the 74.20 of Seo Yeon Jeon.

In other results, Andrei Tenorio won the accurate drive contest, Nakamura had the longest drive, and Tars Olopai, Sam Cho, Dung Tenorio, and Ned Norita prevailed in the closest to the pin competition on hole Nos. 4, 6, 11, and 15, respectively.

The Marianas Classic was organized by IT&E, Bank of Guam, and IP&E with proceeds from the tournament going to Make A Wish Foundation, Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance, and Autism Society of the CNMI.

The weekend tournament had DFS/T Galleria, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Pacific Trading. Co., and Power 99 as gold sponsors. The Tan Siu Lin Foundation and TanHoldings led the silver sponsors.

Tan Siu Lin Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino, fourth left, hands over the ceremonial check donation to IT&E CNMI customer service manager Janice Tenorio, third right, for the 2nd Annual Marianas Classic Golf Tournament. Also in the photo are TanHoldings and TSL Foundation officials and representatives from Bank of Guam, IT&E, and IP&E. (Contributed Photo)

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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