Luis Castro rode on a fiery frontside charge then closed out with a run of pars to card a second straight 71, capture the individual crown and power the Philippines to the team championship in the Indonesia Amateur Open 2019 at the Gading Raya Golf in Jawa Barat, West Java last Friday.
Castro banked on his five-under 67 to gain a share of the lead with Singapore’s Low Wee Jin halfway through the 72-hole championship then wrested control in the third round with that 71 and a 207 as Jin fumbled with a 75-211.
Justin Kuk, also of Singapore, took the challenger’s role at 210 with a 71 but failed to match Castro’s hot start of three birdies in the first eight holes in the final round, enabling the Filipino shotmaker to coast to victory at 278.
Lucius Toh recovered from 72-71 start with a third round 69 but ran out of holes in a desperate bid to chase Castro. He wound with a 68 and finished tied for second with Jin, who rallied with a 69, at 280.
Sean Ramos, priming up for the Manila SEA Games in December, shot the best score in the final round with a 67 and salvaged joint sixth at 285 with Japanese Yuto Watanabe (68) and local bet Alfred Sitohang (73) with Malaysia’s Adam Arif Bin Madzri taking fourth place at 281 after a 69 and Kuk settling for fifth at 283 after a 73.
With Gab Manotoc pooling a 292 after a 71 for joint 13th, the Philippines, whose campaign was sanctioned and supported by the National Golf Association of the Philippines, also ran away with the team championship with a 561 total, beating Singapore by two in the three-to-play, two-to-count format event.
“We are so happy and proud of our team’s awesome performance,” said NGAP sec-gen Bones Floro. “Certainly, this reinforces our bid for the gold at the SEA Games.”
Manotoc opened with a 71 and counted with Castro (69) in the first round for a 140.
Castro (67) and Ramos (71) pooled a 138 in the second round with the duo (Castro 71 and Ramos 74) combining for a 145 in the third round. The Phl closed out with a 138 (Castro 67 and Ramos 71).
Singapore led Team Phl, 422-423, after 54 holes but Kuk and Toh could only assemble a final round 141 for a 563.