Sean Ramos seeks to cap a strong season-ending campaign with another victory while Nicole Abelar and Sofia Legaspi brace for a showdown in the women’s side of the Riviera MVPSF Amateur Championship which starts today (Friday, Nov. 9) at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite.
Ramos ruled the Cangolf Am Open in wire-to-wire fashion then edged Josh Jorge by one to capture the Northern Luzon Regional at Beverly Place Golf Club last month, making the Orchard bet the marked man in the 54-hole championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation.
“There are a lot of good players that I’m competing against with this week so I have to hope for the best and with a bit of luck together with my game, everything will work for me,” said Ramos, adding that emphasis will be on long and short game given the wind condition. “Langer is one of the most toughest courses especially when the wind is up.”
But he will be as much tested as the rest of the 24-played field in the Championship Division with Aidric Chan also coming into the event carrying the momentum of two low amateur feats in the country’s pro circuit recently.
“My experience gained in the Philippine Golf Tour made me more mature as a player which will surely help me with my chances,” said Chan. “But I don’t want to put too much expectations on myself so I could just try to enjoy each moment when I am playing.”
Jorge is also in the fold, along with reigning Phl Amateur Open Match Play winner Carl Corpus, Luigi Wong, David Guangko, Miguel Olivarez-Ilas, Rald Sarmiento, Lanz Uy, Leandro Bagtas, Masaichi Otake and Aldo Barro, all geared up for three days of battle of wits at the demanding par-71 layout.
Joining the title hunt in the premier division of the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour are Paolo Barro, Dan Cruz, Joaquin Gomez, Jet Hernandez, Francis Lanuza, Santino Laurel, Ciaran O’Driscoll, Jacob Rolida, Paolo Uy and Joachim Yu and Korean Lee Sang Min.
Abelar and Legaspi, meanwhile, banner the equally tough field in their side of the competition with the former shooting for a follow-up to her Cangolf Am triumph last month and the latter out to defend the crown she won over Kayla Nocum via playoff last year.
Nocum is also back in the title chase, along with Sunshine Baraquiel, Laurea Duque, Kristine Fleetwood, Junia Gabasa, Rianne Malixi and Mariel Tee with Koreans Gi Soon Choi and Kang Da Yun toughening up the field that also features members of The Country Club team, led by Sam Dizon, Mafy Singson, Arnie Taguines, Kristine Torralba and young Eagle Ace Superal.
Other titles to be disputed are the Mid-Amateur and Seniors to be played over 36 holes. Also on tap is the Special Division for boys’ and girls’ 12 years old and below as part of NGAP’s grassroots program, also set over 36 holes.
Leading the Mid-Am cast are Erik Escalona, Jeff Razon, Don Padilla, Raymond Co and Eric Gozo while Butch Bakunawa and Mike Besa head the Seniors division field that includes Alex Escalona, Bobby Iñigo and Jose Alvarez Jr.