Silang, Cavite—Aidric Chan battled back from four shots down to snare the men’s crown with a 70 while Bernice Olivarez-Ilas held sway and clinched the women’s diadem despite a 78 in the Riviera MVPSF Amateur Championship at the wind-swept Riviera’s Langer course here yesterday.
Chan finally put together a game expected from the very player who won back-to-back low amateur honors in the recently concluded local pro circuit, gunning down five birdies against four bogeys and turning a four-stroke deficit into a four-shot triumph over Miguel Olivarez-Ilas with a 226 total.
“So happy to turn in my best game in three days. My tempo and short game were great and I played practically relaxed,” said Chan, who shot just three birdies in severe conditions in the first two days that saw him start at joint fourth (77) and fall to a share of fifth (79) Saturday.
But the 17-year-old Grade 12 student from Ateneo toughened up in the final 18 holes, hit three birdies against a bogey at the front to wrest control then birdied the first two holes at the back to pull away and won by four despite bogeys on Nos. 14 and 17.
While Chan saved his best for last, Ilas lost his touch and composure, failing to recover from an opening 39 and ending up with a 78. He settled for second at 230 after storming into the lead in the second round of the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation and sponsored by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investments,
Kristoffer Arevalo also hobbled with a 78 and finished third at 232 while Lanz Uy placed fourth at 234 after a 79 followed by Koreans Jung Jae Hyung and Kim Tae Soo, who pooled 235s after a 78 and 79, respectively, in the tournament which served as part of the PLDT National Amateur Tour.
Sean Ramos, winner of the recent Cangolf Am Open and NGAP Northern Luzon Regional, failed to check his skid and struggled with an 80 for seventh at 236 followed by Carl Corpus (77-237), Josh Jorge (84-238) and Jacob Rolida (83-240).
Like Chan, Bernice turned what was expected to be a tight battle for the women’s crown into a runaway victory despite closing out with a seven-over 78 and a 225, six strokes better than Junia Gabasa, who skied to a 45 start and limped with a wind-blown 83 for a 231.
“I didn’t expect to win because I opted to play a conservative game and didn’t gamble much. I’m just so happy to pull it off with support from my family,” said Bernice, whose big triumph more than made for his younger brother’s failed title bid in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Samantha Dizon charged back with a 76 and snatched third place at 232 while Mariel Tee carded a 77 for a 233 and Nicole Abelar and Korean Kang Da Yun shot identical 79s for joint fifth at 237 and last year’s winner Sofia Legaspi struggled with an 81 for a 239.
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