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11 November 2022

Underdogs triumph in Pairs Classics

Sunday 17 March 2024 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Golf, Sports


Underdogs triumph in Pairs Classics
Pairs Classics men’s champions George George and Teinaki Howard of Monsters Cuzzies flanked by second placed Black & White’s Tuakana Mataiti and Leonard Roa-Smith. SUPPLIED/24031511

Underdogs rose to the occasion and claimed victory in the 2023/24 Rarotonga Golf Club Pairs Classics tournament, which concluded last Saturday at the Nikao golf course.

Rarotonga Golf Club deputy captain Rotana Howard explained that the tournament was held over 12 weeks, starting in November 2023. It’s an ongoing initiative for many years, designed to keep competitive golf going throughout the club’s off-season.

The 2023/24 tournament featured 10 men’s pairs and 10 women’s pairs, totalling 20 core players in each division. There were also approximately eight to 10 super subs who participated.

The tournament structure differed for men and women.

The men’s competition involved pairing the top eight senior players in the club based on their handicap and their partners of choice. They competed in a round-robin format, playing off the stick (without any handicap strokes) and points were awarded accordingly.

Ladies division winners Margaret Teiti Sr and Allisthena Poila (holding the prizes) with PJ Hockin, representative from Air Rarotonga, and conveners Memory Akama and Leanne Kiria-Browne on the far right and far left. SUPPLIED/24031515

For the ladies, the format was open to all female club members. They were also paired with their chosen partners in a round-robin setup. However, handicap strokes were given based on the lowest handicap player of each foursome on the day.

In the men’s division, “Monster Cuzzies”, comprised of veterans George Williamson and Teinaki Howard, emerged victorious. They finished ahead of “Black & White”, a pair consisting of Leo Roa and Tuakana Mataiti, and the “MEG” duo of Kris Williamson and Moetai Taruia.

The men’s competition was a nailbiter, coming down to the very last putt between “Monster Cuzzies” and “Black & White”.

The women’s competition saw B’Nana’s, a team made up of Margaret Teiti Sr and Allisthena Poila (a rising junior golfer), claim the top prize. Jacqui Urlich and Jane Moananu of Jamunfruit finished second, while Katey Karati and Margaret of Blueberry Fairies secured third place.

Rotana Howard commented: “Both finalists in each division were the underdogs given the format of the competition, though very well deserving of their wins. “

“Veteran golfers made a strong showing this year. They definitely made a statement that age is just a number in golf. Teinaki and George are both veterans and Margaret is also a top ladies vet in the club.”
Howard expressed gratitude to their sponsors, Air Rarotonga, Stonefish Studio (Aitutaki), and Anita Heather, for their generous contributions to this year’s prize table.

“Kudos to the dedicated conveners: Haimona Browne, William Howard, Leanne Kiria-Browne, and Memory Akama for convening a successful off-season competition that fostered camaraderie among club members.

“And finally, a resounding congratulations to the winners, as well as all the players and super substitutes who made this ‘Pair Classics’ season a triumph!”

The Bond Store and Steinlager, a long-standing sponsor and strong supporter of the Rarotonga Golf Club, will be kicking off the 2024 season opener today as the club gears up for another season of competitive golf.


Men’s Division Winners: 1st: Monster Cuzzies - George Williamson & Teinaki Howard; 2nd place: "Black & White" - Leo Roa & Tuakana Mataiti; 3rd: MEG - Kris Williamson & Moetai Taruia; 4th: Rasengans - Ed Nicholas & Ned Howard; 5th: Purple Rain- Haimona Browne & Cedric Toru; 6th: Chiefs Mana - William Howard & Maka Tereu; 7th: LIV sharks - Stuart Henry & James Herman; 8th: Up the Wahs - Daniel Webb & Tahitoa Webb (an up and coming Junior Golfer); 9th: Seal Team Tupa - Frank Karati & John Teiti; 10th: Wale 5.0 - Jojo Karati & Royle Brogan. Acknowledgement of Mens Super Subs: Joe Browne, Shuma Tatakura, Winston Kiria, Vanic Teina, Sonny Karati, Vae Unuka, Paraita Akama & Steven Kavana.

Ladies Division Winners: 1st: B'Nana's - Margaret Teiti Snr & Allisthena Poila (an up and coming Junior Golfer); 2nd: Jamunfruit - Jacqui Urlich & Jane Moananu; 3rd: Blueberry Fairies - Katey Karati & Margaret Teiti Jnr; 4th: Kokosik - Lisa Tatakura & Tania Karati; 5th: Tee-poro - Leilah Poila & Mavis Aumetua Nicholas; 6th: Babygrapes - Mereana Hagai & Terryanne Strickland; 7th: Pretty Cherries - Rotana Howard & Phillipa Arona; 8th: Dragonfruit Divas - Moeroa Mamanu-Matheson & Janna Jansen; 9th: Jackfruit - Leanne Kiria-Browne & Memory Akama; 10th: Fruitsalad - Patsy Hockin& Eve Hayden. Acknowledgement of Ladies Super Subs: Linda Tera, Anna Howard, Rowena Newbigging, Vasie Poila, Louisa Jessie, Donnie Willis, Marion Howard, Ake Unuka & Amy Kainuku.