‘Tiny’ up for bigger competition


Sebastian “Tiny” Camacho practices his swing during a training session at the Laolao Bay Golf and Resort driving range. (Jon Perez)

After making it through qualifying tournaments, junior golfer Sebastian “Tiny” Camacho has shifted his focus to a bigger competition—the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa.

Camacho was named to the CNMI Golf Team along with Joe “Kamikaze” Camacho, Ryan Kim, J.J. Atalig, Edward Lee, and alternate Tony Satur after playing in a series of qualifiers that started late last year. CNMI Federation of Golf Associations made the selection early this month, leaving Sebastian Camacho and company with a little over five months to prepare for the quadrennial event. The Pacific Games will run from July 7 to 20 with the golf tournament set for July 10 to 13 at the Faleata Golf Course.

“When I qualified for the team that will represent the CNMI, at first, I didn’t believe it,” Camacho said. “I put in two weeks of work at the [golf] range every day, and I was just glad that it paid off. I was just happy to make it and have my parents feel relieved after I made it.”

“I feel like five months is a better amount of time [to prepare], but even then we can never be sure we’ll be ready financially and physically,” the junior golfer said. “Although there are potential financial and preparatory hurdles, five months will be more than enough if our time is devoted properly, with good playing time as well.”

When asked about his training regimen, Camacho shared that much of his after-school routine is sectioned off to golf activities.

“I stay at the driving range from about 3:30pm to 7pm most nights, if not longer. Practice days are twice a week with the team and about three more days on my own,” the Grace Christian Academy student said.

Camacho will be making his debut in a regional competition and expects more pressure in the Pacific Games. To personally prepare for the intimidating competition, he will be joining other tournaments as well. Camacho will be playing in the Philippines Airlines Junior Championships, which will be held in March. There are also local tournaments lined up this year before Camacho’s group head to Apia.

“The trip to the Philippines in March is going to be an amazing experience for exposure and feeling to get ready for the amount of physical stress we’ll have in Samoa,” Camacho said.

The junior golfer hopes that with the long preparation time, his white-knuckled work ethic, and more playing opportunities, he will be in prime position to represent the CNMI in the Pacific Games.

Roby N. Pamintuan
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