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Air New Zealand Anzac tourney over 2 days

Friday 14 May 2010 | Published in Regional

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With Anzac Day falling on a Sunday this year, the Air New Zealand Anzac golf tournament was extended to be played over two Saturdays.

This was only fitting for such a prestigious tournament.

On the first Saturday, April 24, Vengi Hagai played a blistering game to come in with a +11 for this bogey competition.

This established a good lead and Hagai was always going to be hard to catch unless the wheels came off in the second round.

However, the lead maybe wasn’t so insurmountable with several other players carding good scores.

Ianis Boaza came in with a +8, followed by Nga Manuela, Tukai Engu, and Junior Ngatokorua on +7, Tere Taio and Willy Karika on +6, with Henry Puna, Royle Brogan and Karika Karika Snr rounding out the top ten place getters.

Also coming in with +5 were Miles Taio and Jojo Karati.

Given the vagaries of the game of golf and the closeness of the scores, any one of the above stood a chance to win the major prize.

Air New Zealand had generously sponsored this tournament once again and donated return tickets to Auckland.

The second round of the tournament was played on Saturday May 1 and there was some degree of excitement as well as tension among the players.

The top eight players from the previous Saturday were seeded for this day and this only increased the tension and even more concentration was evident.

Winner for the day was Jim- my Teokotai with a +6 but un- fortunately it was not enough, when added to his first round score, to put him among the major prize winners.

The same can be said for Ben Areai, who came in with a +5.

Vengi Hagai kept his nerve and concentration to come in with a +4, giving him a total of +15 for the tournament.

Tukai Engu carded a +3 for a total of +10. Henry Puna with a +3, Nga Manuela +1, and Willyn Karika +1 all did enough to cement placings in the top five for the tournament.

Unfortunately David Bridge of Air New Zealand could not be there on the night but I know all our thoughts were with him. The presentation duties were ably undertaken by Chris Foster who had much pleasure in presenting Vengi Hagai with first prize for his score of +15.

This was a great effort from Hagai and we look forward to seeing his game improve even more now that he has the bit between his teeth, so to speak.

Second prize went to Tukai Engu with +10.

Third was Nga Manuela on +8 on a count back from Henry Puna (4th) also on +8.

Young Willyn Karika on +7 won fifth prize after Ianis boaza carded a -1 in the final round to bring his score back to +7.

There was another return ticket to Auckland, also donated by Air New Zealand which was drawn from among all the players who had taken part on both days who were there on the night. This was won, to great cheers, by young Willyn Karika.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the 80 players who took part. Golf is alive and well on Raro.

This was a terrific tournament, which was enjoyed by all and we are truly grateful for the generous sponsorship of Air New Zealand and for their support for golf in the Cook Islands now, many times in the past, and hopefully in the future.