Golfer Jess Wabol was inducted to the CNMI Sports Hall of Fame during the 2008 NMASA Annual Awards Banquet last night at the Seaside Hall of Saipan Grand Hotel. (Roselyn B. Monroyo) 

A familiar fixture in local and regional golf tournaments, Wabol had a long list of achievements in fairways and greens, which earned him a rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

His love affair with golf started at the Saipan Country Club (formerly Whispering Palms Golf Course) where he caddied for friends and later played better than them.

From 1976-1977, he was a member of the golf team for the Park Ville College in Missouri. He was also part of the college's baseball squad.

After college, he returned to Saipan and began dominating local tournaments and represented the CNMI in various off-island and regional tournaments.

Wabol first played for the CNMI team in the 1987 South Pacific Games in Noumea, New Caledonia. He carried the CNMI flag in regional tournaments in seven more occasions: 1991 (Papua New Guinea SPG), 1993 (Vanuatu Mini SPG), 1995 (Tahiti SPG), 1999 (Guam SPG), 2001 (Norfolk Island Mini SPG), 2003 (Fiji SPG), and 2006 (Saipan Micronesian Games).

Locally, he was the only golfer to win the Tournament of Champions four times (1999, 2000, 2006, and 2007) and was also the only quadruple winner of the RGA Club Championship (1995, 2000, 2002, and 2008).

Wabol, through the help of other members of Refaluwasch Golf Association, instituted special tournaments that benefit the community.

Last year, Wabol and his group held the RGA Memorial Cup and raised $3,500, which was donated to Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School.

Besides golf, Wabol is also into Little League baseball

In 2003, he was the manager of the CNMI Senior League Team that competed to the Regional Tournament in Manila, Philippines.

The following year, he was also the manager of the Senior Leaguers, who played in the World Series in Bangor, Maine.

Wabol in 2005 was the manager of the CNMI Senior Leaguers who made it to the Regional Tournament in Indonesia.

By Roselyn Monroyo
  Saipan Tribune


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