Golfers battle it out at Tama Hills golf championship; player wins $5K for hole-in-one
On Sept. 26-27, 120 players battled it out on the links at Tama Hills Golf Course for the 2015 Club Championship. Robert Icban, Tama Hills Golf Course manager and Pat Mahoney, assistant manager and staff prepared a first class experience for all of the participants. Course conditions were tough on day one with thick rough, wet fairways and slick greens.
Course conditions were not the typical pristine conditions players have come accustom to, Mother Nature wanted to throw a few twist into the mix. Albert Bancroft, Golf Course Superintendent and his maintenance crew did a phenomenal job in getting the course ready for the annual tournament.
The scores from day one reflected the difficulty of the course. Only a few members were able to break 80 on a Par 72 course. In the Championship Flight there were three players tied for the lead. Chong Delisi, Tim Fearney and Noriyuki Tanaka all shot 79, 7 over par during Day 1 of the competition. Day 2 in the Championship flight was a fight between Chong Delisi and Tim Fearney.
With only a one shot difference separating the two players going into the 15th hole, Chong drained a 25 foot birdie putt on the 169 yard Par 3 to Tim Fearney’s bogie giving Chong a three shot cushion heading into the last four holes. Tim Fearney battled back but could not catch Chong’s solid play over the closing holes. Chong Delisi captured his first Tama Hills Club Championship with a two day total Gross score of 154. Tim Fearney finished second with a Gross score of 157 and Christopher Denz rounded out the top three with a Gross score 160.
The Senior’s flight had to be settled with extra holes as the top contenders finished the two day event with matching Gross scores of 157. Rusty Barfield held the Day 1 lead over Keith Johnson by 4 strokes. On Day 2, Keith Johnson shot an impressive score of 73 to catch Rusty and force a one hole play-off in which Keith Johnson came out on top.
The top players for the Senior’s flight were Keith Johnson (157), Rusty Barfield (157), and Joe Renteria (162). The Women’s flight crowned a familiar face to Tama Hills, Yoko Lofton who carded an 85 on Day 1 and an 81 on Day 2 for a Gross score of 166. Yoko cleared the nearest challenger by 4 strokes to capture the title from last year’s champion Kazuno Muskus (170).
A-Flight winner Rolando Abad (153) out lasted Mamoru Uegaki (158) and Mike Monahan (169) to take the top position. In B-Flight, a couple of “Troy’s” topped the leader board. Troy Oliver (178), Troy Clemmons (182) and Danilo Galan (186) rounded out the top 3 positions. C-Flight winners included: Joel Fababier (185), Daniel Dittmeier (186) and Mandy Francisco (187).
On a special note; the Tama Hills Golf Gaggle donated an opportunity for players to win big with a Hole-in-One on the 169 yard Par 3. Of the 120 contestants who made an attempt at the prize on both days of the tournament only one was able to strike gold. Ronald Pama of Yokota Air Base scored an Ace on the Par 3. With his playing partners looking on, Ronald selected a 6 iron from his bag, approached the tee box and took aim. As Ronald reflected “Everything happened in slow motion, I couldn’t believe it”; the ball left his club and took direct flight towards the pin. As the ball landed on the green it took a couple of hops and then it disappeared in to the cup. Once all the yelling and cheering from his playing partners subsided, Ron was able to take in what he just accomplished...he just won $5000. This was Ronald’s first ever hole-in-one and probably a very memorable one as well.