The Marist Brothers In Golf Club have defended their title to secure back to back wins as the Top Golf Club in Samoa following another successfully run Taula Samoa IBFC International Golf Clubs Championship tournament.
“It was a grueling two days in the hot sun last Friday and Saturday with Day 1 held at the Faleata Golf Course and Day 2 held at Royal Samoa Golf Club at Fagalii.
Marist B.I.G. won the event last year whilst Le Vaiotausala won the previous year. This year, Marist B.I.G managed to edge out Le Vaiotausala to claim the top prize.
“We give all glory to God for us managing to retain the trophy this year,” said Fepuleai Falani Tupuola, Captain of the Marist B.I.G. Club.
“There was a lot of pressure on us to win so we started practicing in the beginning of the year and our trials started four months prior to the tournament,” said Fepuleai.
“We do not take the name ‘Marist’ lightly so we had to do our utmost best,” he added.
Robert Faaliga of the Brothers and Sisters Golf Club took out the Overall Individual Best Gross while Aeau Tima Leavai, also of the Brothers and Sisters Club, topped the Ladies Division.
The Men’s A Division was won by Opeta Farani of Mango Tree Golf School while the Men’s B Division was taken by Joe Tagata of Le Vaiotausala.
Those who took part in the tournament were happy with how the tournament was organized, particularly the emphasis on honesty and golf etiquette.
President of Tafesilafai Golf Cub from American Samoa, Fa’i Mareko, said their club took part last year and will certainly return next year.
“Marist B.I.G again hosted a marvelous tournament this year and we have offered to deliver invitations to other clubs in American Samoa to participate next year..”
The Taula Samoa IBFC International Clubs Championship was launched by Honourable Seuula Ioane Tuuau, Minister of Education Sports and Culture.
The tournament brings the local golf clubs together to compete with clubs from overseas using the strokeplay format.
After two days, the top 8 scores from each club for both golf courses at Fagalii and Faleata, determined the winner.
Prize-winners for 2023:
1. Marist B.I.G Golf Club (1,126);
2. Le Vaiotausala Golf School (1,147);
3. Brothers & Sister Golf School (1,149);
4. Agape Golf School (1,155);
5. Mango Tree Golf School (1,164);
6. Tafesilafai Golf Club (1,268).
According to Tournament Director, Taupau Carlton Chadwick, organising the event comes with its challenges.
“Especially considering that we are all volunteers with our own jobs or businesses to run.
“But we thank God for the support of the sponsors and our wives which has enabled us to continue with this tournament,” said Taupau.
Safai Iosua of Le Vaiotausala Golf School at Fagalii says these type of tournaments are important for the development of golf.
“We have very few tournaments in Samoa that can expose our young talent, so I thank God for this tournament and for Marist B.I.G in helping to develop the young players from our village of Fagalii since some of them are currently in their development program.”
One of Marist B.I.G’s top players is Greg Sanerivi, the son of the late golf professional Atapana Sanerivi.
Greg won a bronze medal at the recent Samoa Games and is also selected to represent Samoa at the upcoming Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.
Captain Fepuleai reiterated his gratefulness to the sponsors for without them, the tournament would not have been possible.
“We thank co-naming rights sponsors Taula Beverages & SIFA Samoa IBFC, plus the major sponsors Pacific Ezy Money, SSAB, McDonalds Family Restaurant as well as the associate sponsors.”