Navi defies odds

Overall champion Navitalai Vakaruru with sponsors representative Pritam Singh at the Lautoka Golf Club last Saturday. Picture: SUPPLIED

NAVITALAI Vakaruru, 34, of Nacamaki, Koro, Lomaiviti, is a classic Fijian example of sporting excellence.

He has hearing and speech disability, but those physical challenges failed to stop him from scoring a rare sports feat.

He is a member of the Lautoka Golf Club, thanks to club chairman of trustees Raymond Singh who welcomed him as a full financial member to be part of the regular competitions and national events at the golf links.

“Navitalai has immense potential and had his baptism of fire last Saturday in recording the best nett score of 61 on Saturday’s Gangas Spices-sponsored 18 holes individual stroke event,” Singh said.

“He has the ability to apply the golf rules and majority of the members appreciate his passion for the game.

He was so excited to win the top prize and was very emotional when I somehow used a bit of sign language to say that he was the top golfer of the day.”

James Krishna meanwhile, won the A- grade title on 68 with Lawrence Naidu finishing second on 69 and Anil kumar settling for third position on 70.

Sanjay Gopal out-placed Dr Vimal Murthi for the B-grade title after winning on a countback on nett 68.

Arvind Pillay came in third on 69.

A father and son battle in the C-grade saw Bill Gardiner posted 71 to edge his son Robert on 72.

Alex Qiokata was third on 73. Roneel Prakash was the toast of professional category on 66.

The nearest to pin award was won by James Krishna on the second hole and Abdul Jalal on the ninth.

Sanjay Gopal hit the longest drive on the third hole.

Other results: Tevita Drauninu, Gaffar Ali, Abdul Jalal- 70. Anthony John, P.J Singh, Papi Singh – 71. James Krishna, Asish Kumar, Suresh Chand – 72. Raymond Singh, Bobby Reddy, Anil Prasad – 73.

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