Aidric Chan outslugged Sean Ramos in a fierce frontside duel then held sway at the back to card a 74 and pound out a two-stroke victory while younger class campaigner Rianne Malixi snatched the overall crown over Junia Gabasa in the girls’ side of the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martires, Cavite yesterday.
Tied with Ramos after 54 holes, Chan surged ahead with back-to-back birdies from No. 3 then went 4-up on a par and birdie from No. 6. But a double-bogey mishap on the par-5 No. 8 enabled Ramos to close within two before the latter drew level again as Chan dropped two strokes on the par-5 No. 10.
But just when Ramos thought he had seized the momentum and put the pressure on his fancied rival, he failed to match Chan’s birdie on No. 12, bogeyed No. 14 and fell by four again on a two-shot swing on the 15th (bogey-birdie).
That enabled Chan to scoot home to victory despite a double-bogey on the final hole, claiming the overall crown on a 298 total in his final year in the event which served as the third leg of this year’s PLDT Group National Amateur Tour.
Ramos, one of the country’s leading junior players, finished with a 300 after a 76 and bagged the Albatross (15-18) title while halfway leader Paolo Barro also shot a 74 and a 303 for second with Josh Jorge, another future star, carding a 77 for joint third at 309 with Carl Corpus, who hobbled with a 79, in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
But Malixi, vying in the 12-14 age bracket, took the overall crown in the distaff side with a 302 after a 78, edging Gabasa, who pooled a 303 after a 74, in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Gabasa actually saved her best for last, sizzling with a frontside 34 for a 74 to rally from third as erstwhile leader Kayla Nocum fumbled with a 42 and ended up with an 82 and Korean Kang Da Yun struggled with a 40 and a 77.
Gabasa, who ruled the WExpress RVF Cup in Canlubang last January, settled for the Albatross title with Kang finishing second with a 304 and Maria Tee, who shot a 79, tied Nocum at third at 308 in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific.
In other results, Wiggam Tapdasan completed a wire-to-wire romp in the Ace division (19-and-above) with a 79 and a 324 with Gerrard Park pooling a 350 after an 86; Korean Kim Tae Soo clinched the Eagle (12-14) title with a 308 after a 73 for a whopping eight-shot romp over Jet Hernandez and Miguel Ilas, who scored 316s after similar 79s; while Eagle Ace Superal, who made an 80 for a 306, bagged the Eagle (12-14) diadem with Arnie Taguines placing third with a 313 after a 76.
Kim Tae Won, also of Korea, and Celine Abalos shared top honors in the Birdie (11-and-below) division with the former carding an 86 for a 167 for a two-stroke victory over Shinichi Suzuki (82-169) and the latter scoring a 92 for a 172 and a nine-shot win over Stevie Umali, who pooled a 181 after an 86.
Next up for the amateur circuit is the MVPSF Visayas Regional Golf Championship on April 8-12 at Cebu Country Club.