Cagayan de Oro—Hometown bet Ralph Rian Batican and Davao leg champions Nicole and Stephanie Gan, Lucas de Guzman and Brianna Macasaet led winners in this second Mindanao meet of the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP) Pueblo de Oro Junior Open on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country here.
Batican fired a five-under par 67 on the final round of the tournament, a stroke better from his opening round 68 for a total of 135 to win the 9-10 boys’ category by 18 strokes after Davao champion Jared Saban finished with 153 after rounds of 76 and 77.
The 10-year-old Grade 5 student at Little Me Academy home school mixed his final round with six birdies, on 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10, had an eagle on 12, bogeyed on 4 and a double bogey on 18. This CDO leg of the Mindanao meet was Batican’s sixth title of his young career.
“I’m very happy to win. It was tough, but I’m very happy with my game,” said Batican, who gets help from Filipino golf legend Frankie Minoza with the refinement of his overall game and has Noel Langamin as his coach.
A veteran of the 2022 IMG Academy Junior World Championships in the US, he was also accompanied by his parents Marian and Ralph.
On the other hand, the Gan sisters and De Guzman made it back-to-back titles following wins in the Davao leg held at Apo golf early this month and here in this part of the region.
Nicole Gan had a final round 78 for a total of 154 in the 11-12 girls to beat Isabella Tabanas, who finished with 169, while Stephanie Gan had 173 in the 6-under girls, besting Soleil Ianne Molde by two strokes as the latter had 175. De Guzman won by 33 strokes with 153 against Ethan Franco Lago’s 180 in the 6-under boys.
Macasaet, meantime, topped the 7-8 girls’ category with a final round 75 for a total of 156 to beat Davao champion Rafella Adrienne Batican, who had a two-day total of 176 in this event backed by John Gaisano, Gaisano Malls, Islandwide Distribution Corp. and Pueblo Golf.
“After our event in Davao City, it was another successful tournament here in Cagayan de Oro, which showed in the turnout, the performances of our young golfers and experience they gained here,” said JGFP president Oliver Gan, who expressed his gratitude to CDO junior golf chairman Ronnie Canlas and Pueblo general manager Gilby Velez for making the event possible.