Jolo Magcalayo rolled to a trouble-free 11-stroke victory with another 71 while Junia Gabasa needed to hang tough in the clutch to hold off Rianne Malixi and snare the women’s crown in the W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship at Cangolf’s North course in Laguna.
Magcalayo, who all but clinched the men’s title with a whopping nine-shot lead after three rounds Thursday, just went through the motions in the last 18 holes, mixing two birdies against a bogey and never giving the rest a chance by settling for regulation pars.
Boosted by a solid opening 65, Magcalayo wound up with a 10-under 278 that included back-to-back 71s in the middle rounds that kept him well ahead of the field, completing his dominant, record run despite a day-long struggle in windy conditions yesterday.
“I struggled with my shots that’s why I’m quite disappointed since I wasn’t able to do my game plan,” said Magcalayo, whose romp nearly tripled the four-shot win by Korean Kim Joo Hyung over Aniceto Mandanas last year. “Perhaps, it’s because of the wind and I didn’t putt quite well unlike in the first round.”
Still, his four-day performance stood out with Kristoffer Arevalo and Paqo Barro finishing tied for second way behind at 289, 11 shots off the Grade 10 student at De La Salle-Zobel.
Arevalo shot the day’s best six-under 66, spiked by an eagle on No. 14 for a closing 31 for joint runner-up with Barro, who birdied three of the last five holes to finish with a 68.
Gabasa, on the other hand, nearly blew a huge five-shot lead with eight holes left, needing to match Malixi’s par on the final hole to salvage a 74 and a one-stroke victory with a 296 total in women’s play of the 24th staging of the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and held in honor of the late NGAP president and golf patron Rod V. Feliciano.
Malixi fell by five with a bogey on No. 10 but birdied Nos. 14 and 16 and pulled within one as Gabasa bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17. But the former failed to shake off the 18-year-old Cebuana in their final hole duel, settling for par and second at 297 after a 73.
First round co-leader Sofia Chabon failed to rebound from a disastrous third round 79, ending up with a 76 for joint third with Sofia Legaspi, who limped with a 78, at 302 while Eagle Ace Superal, who also shared the lead after 18 holes, carded a 75 to tie Bernice Ilas, who hobbled with a 76, at 304 in the event held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour and backed Cignal, Metro Pacific and Cangolf.
Meanwhile, Korean Kim Tae Won put in a second 77 and took the boys’ crown at 154, six shots ahead of Dylan Castillo, who had a 160 after an 84, while Sophia Abarcas ran away with the girls’ diadem with a 157 after a 78, 15 shots over Jeong Yeah Eun, who groped for an 86 and a 172 in the Special Division, held as part of the National Golf Association of the Philippines’ grassroots program which features young players from Apo Golf and Del Monte.
Back in men’s play, Rupert Zaragosa finally hit his stride, albeit late, firing a 69 to finished tied at fourth with Paolo Wong, who shot a 71, at 292 while Elee Bisera, Perry Bucay and Carl Corpus shared sixth place at 293 after a 70, 72 and 75, respectively.
Sean Ramos wound up ninth at 294 after a 77 while Masaichi Otake, who started the final round at second after a 69, skied to an opening 42 and finished with a 79 to drop to 10th at 295.