THE 11th Jack Nicklaus International Invitational concluded its international final with Team Philippines, Derek Ramsay and John Estrada, sweeping the title.
The tournament’s ultimate event was played at New Albany Country Club outside of Columbus, Ohio on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.
Known as the Tournament of Champions, the international finals of the JNII brings together the two-person team winners of JNII national tournaments held over the past 12 months in select countries. This year, teams from four countries advanced to play for their country in the 36-hole international final sponsored by the Nicklaus Companies.
The award-winning duo of actors from the Philippines, John Estrada and Derek Ramsay, won the competition with a net 15-under score. They held off a valiant effort by the Indonesian duo of Edwin Abeng and Pedro Limardo, who played the back nine 6-under par to finish with a net 10-under score. The five-stroke difference doesn’t reflect how close the challenge was for the Filipino movie stars. Ramsay sank two clutch birdie putts from 15-feet on 16 and 17 to hold off the Indonesian charge.
Ramsay, who is not a stranger to representing his country in the field of sports, said after the win, “That was awesome! We had a comfortable lead making the turn and lost our focus. The great play by the Indonesians made it close. What a great feeling to win, but regardless, this event is a chance of a lifetime.”
Ramsay became close friends with his playing partner and fellow actor Estrada after filming Trophy Wife in 2014.
“Definitely, this is one for the books. At least for me, unlike Derek here, it’s my first time to represent my country in the field of sports. It amazes me how you guys made this happen. I never thought it could be this grand. How I wish I can do this again, of course with my brother here,” Estrada said.
“It’s so organized from start to finish, even during the National Finals in the Philippines. In Ohio, we were treated like pros, and every day, we received a gift package with our names on it. This is the best golf experience that nobody should ever miss!” added Ramsay.
“The JNII is a big deal in the Philippines,” said Estrada. “Rustan Marketing Corporation through Jack Nicklaus Philippines puts on a great tournament, which attracts a great field of players. Until now, I can’t believe we won our national championship, and winning this—now, it’s a dream come true.”As unexpected as their win in the national tournament, the first day of the international tournament applied the same Peoria system as the national final but the second day followed the players’ handicaps established during the first day of tournament.
Players who enter national JNII events get a chance to win great prizes, including an expense-paid VIP trip to play for their country in the Tournament of Champions and watch the Memorial Tournament by invitation of Mr. Jack Nicklaus presented by Nationwide, an event played at nearby Muirfield Village Golf Club on the PGA TOUR. The champions were given VIP access and a clear view of the 18th hole where they got to see the top PGA players in live action.
JNII events are open to recreational golfers of all skill levelswho get to experience competitive golf in a relaxed, social atmosphere that promotes camaraderie and interest in the game. For additional information, visit jniigolf.com, follow the action on social media on facebook.com/JNIIGolf and Twitter @jniigolf; and for instant updates in the Philippines, follow @JackNicklausPh on Instagram and Facebook.
The Nicklaus Companies produces and markets luxury lifestyle and consumer products for men and women under the Jack Nicklaus®, Nicklaus® and Golden Bear® brands. It is the global sponsor of the Jack Nicklaus International Invitational. For additional information about the Nicklaus Companies, visit nicklaus.com.