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SABLAN HOLDS OFF CHARGE FROM THE FIELD

Leader struggles with 82, but still enough for the title

By Nick Akimoto

After three rounds of play, Ivan Sablan has secured the top spot in the men’s division of the 2023 Guam Amateur Golf Championship Saturday at the Country Club of the Pacific. With a final gross score of 229 (74-73-82), Sablan managed to maintain his lead over the rest of the competition to secure the tournament title. 

“It means a lot to win my island’s amateur championship. This is one of many championships that’s on my schedule, so hopefully it’s not the last one I win,” said Sablan. 

JACOT CRUSHES WOMEN’S COMPETITION

Although Sablan was leading the tournament for the first two rounds last weekend, wet and windy conditions during his first nine holes caused Sablan to have a rough start in the final round, shooting a 43, but he collected himself in the back nine, shooting a 39. 

Sablan teed off from the back tee alongside the rest of the tournament leaders, a group that consisted of Louie Sunga, Nalapon Vongjalorn and Eugene Park. Sunga, a perennial tournament favorite and long-time top golfer on Guam, was placing pressure on Sablan, as he was eight strokes behind the junior golfer and was closing the lead fast. 

“It was very stressful playing with Louie in my last group, honestly. It was a battle throughout the whole 18 for four hours, so it was very interesting and we kept each other on our toes.” 

– Ivan Sablan said about the pressure

“The conditions were pretty tough today because of the wind. Greens were a little bit faster than last week, so it was kind of a grind out there today. Props to Ivan, he played real well. Really kept it together in the backside, so congratulations to him,” said Sunga, who finished second in the tournament with a total gross score of 232 (77-78-77) 

While Sablan and Sunga were duking it out in the leading group, Markus Nanpei played his best round in the group ahead of them, shooting 72 on the day for par and a total gross score of 236 (81-83-72). The impressive finish was crucial in breaking a tie for third place with last year’s winner, Redge Camacho, as both golfers tied their final total score. 

“I’m really proud of the way I played today. I didn’t play too great on the first two [rounds], but I got it back,” said Nanpei. 

With so many young golfers placing high in this competitive tournament, it bodes well for the future of the sport, leaving many of their seniors impressed with how they have progressed. 

“It’s great because Ivan and Markus are going off to college and we have a lot of junior golfers here who are playing really well, and it’s good. The program on Guam for Junior golf has gotten a lot better. It’s been a lot better over the last ten years, so it’s good to see these kids play really well, go back stateside, and represent Guam really well,” said Sunga.

MEN’S FINAL LEADERBOARD

Ivan Sablan 74-73-82=229

Louie Sunga 77-78-77=232

Markus Nanpei 81-83-72=236

Redge Camacho 86-76-74=236

Eugene Park 85-75-78=238

Nalapon Vongjalorn 78-80-82=240

Daryl Poe 78-83-80=241

Stüssy Shiroma 85-79-85=249

Timothy Hubert 85-87-84=256

Sam Teker 85-91-84=260

Santino Yanza 85-86-89=260

Edwin Fenton 91-84-88=263

Ken Duenas 87-91-89=267

Trey Jacot 90-91-92=273

Ray Quintanilla 99-87-93=279

Taiyo Tagami 79-81

Eduardo Terlaje 82-84

Taisei Tagami 85-91

Sammy Teker 114-109

Anton Lacson 96

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QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
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Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

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