A record 138 players turned out at the Rarotonga Golf Club for the biggest event on the national golf calendar.
Teams could enter four players in each of the open men’s, veteran men’s, open ladies’ or veteran ladies’ divisions, with the three best gross scores per round being counted, and overall points for the cup were awarded per medals won.
With gold medal wins in the open men’s, open ladies’, veteran men’s and individual ladies’ divisions, Rakahanga were once again the dominant force over the duration of the tournament.
Compared to last year, scoring was generally higher due to the poor playing conditions for the first round, where competitors had to deal with driving rain and cold westerlies.
Only two players managed to score par rounds of 70 - Landyn Edwards and Murray McDonald who both eventually went on to win the individual open men’s and veteran men’s titles.
With improved playing conditions for Saturday’s round two, five players managed par or better.
The standout out performance was from Kris “Gunz” Williamson who fired a three under par 67, giving him second place to Edwards who backed up his first round 70 with another par round and a two-shot win over Williamson.
Other players to fire on day two included Rotana Howard with an even par round of 70, taking out the open ladies by 14 shots from Tepua Russell.
Young junior Jordin Manuela also shot a par round, with a birdie on the last hole giving him the bronze medal on countback from Willie Howard.
In the veteran men, “Poppa G” recovered from an out-of-sorts first round of 84 with a par round of 70 and silver medal on countback from Teinaki Howard.
Event spokesperson Haimona Browne was extremely pleased with the running of the tournament, now in its seventh year in the present format.
Browne pointed to highlights including some close finishes such as when the Rakahanga men’s veterans team pipped Te Au O Tonga by one shot for gold and the first-ever medal playoff between tied women’s veterans’ teams, Mangaia and Mauke. The latter took the silver.
Open Men – 1st Landyn Edward (Pamati) 140, 2nd Kris Williamson (Rakahanga) 142, 3rd Jordin Manuela (Te Au O Tonga) 145.
Open Ladies – 1st Rotana Howard (Rakahanga) 143, 2nd Tepua Russell (Puiakura) 157, 3rd Ake Unuka (Mauke) 159.
Veteran Mens – 1st Murray McDonald (Takitumu) 144, 2nd ‘Poppa G’ (Te Au O Tonga) 154, 3rd Teinaki Howard (Rakahanga) 154.
Veteran Ladies – 1st Tuaine Marsters (Puiakura) 165, 2nd Maara Kenning (Teau O Tonga) 166, 3rd Tania Karati (Mauke) 169.
Open Men – 1st Rakahanga – Eddie Tuaati, Kris Williamson, Willie Howard and Ned Howard, 2nd Pamati – Landyn Edward, Vaike Tairi, Alistair Newbigging and Tom Marsters Jnr. 3rd Mauke – Haimone Browne, James Herman, Sonny Karati and Tukai Engu.
Open Ladies – 1st Rakahanga – Rotana Howard, Rita Howard, Marion Howard and Rowena Newbigging. 2nd Puiakura – Margaret Teiti, Tepua Russell, Donnie Wills and Moeroa Matheson. 3rd Te Au O Tonga – Kurai Foster, Moeroa Turua, Sebon Will and Mereana Hagai.
Veteran Men – 1st Rakahanga – Teinaki Howard, George Williamson, Charlie Numanga and Fotu Banaba. 2nd Teau O Tonga – Stu Henry, Pokoina Matara, Cedric Toru and Greg Amos. 3rd – Aitutaki – Davey Roa, Junior Matai, Tai Herman and Munro Hockin.
Veteran Ladies - 1st Teau O Tonga – Maara Kenning, Kura Tetauru, Eve Hayden and Teremoana Hardie. 2nd Mauke – Patsy Hockin, Olly Silk, Tania Karati and Mena Howard. 3rd Mangaia – Bernie Raffe, Ruru Ngatamaine, Shelley Amos and Terangi Teokotai.
Constitution cup points results -1st Rakahanga 42, 2nd Te Au O Tonga 29, 3rd Mauke 14, 4th Puaikura 13, 6th Equal - Aitutaki 4 and Mangaia 4.
Round 1 of the annual Palm Grove-sponsored tournament will be held this weekend.