Aidric Chan and Carl Corpus clinched the first two slots as expected while Sean Ramos beat four others for the third and last berth in the SEA Games-bound national men’s golf team despite a 75 at the close of the grueling two-week qualifiers at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac yesterday.
Ramos bucked a back-to-back double-bogey mishap from No. 11 with a birdie on the par-3 13th then parred the rest to salvage a 36-39 card for an eight-round total 587, edging a late-charging Gab Manotoc, who rallied with a 72, by two.
Chan and Corpus had virtually secured the first two seats after the seventh round when they pulled away from the field by at least six strokes with the duo finishing tied at 580 after a 69 and 70, respectively.
Edward Dy, who bounced back into contention with a fiery 67 to tie Ramos at third heading to the penultimate round Wednesday, faltered when it mattered most, hobbling with a 40 at the front and finishing with a 77, settling for joint fourth instead with Manotoc at 589.
Ramos pounced on Dy’s bogey-ridded game with a birdie-bogey frontside to zero in on the coveted third seat then hung tough despite a shaky backside start to frustrate Manotoc, who matched Ramos’ opening 36 but fell short of his own rally with another 36.
The troika will thus lead the country’s campaign against a tough set of regional rivals in the biennial games slated Nov. 30-Dec. 10 with the National Golf Association of the Philippines lining up a series of training and practice sessions at the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed layout leading up to the SEAG week to cash in on the proverbial “home-court” advantage.
“It’s an honor to help spearhead the country’s bid in the SEA Games,” said Chan, an incoming Univ. of Arizona freshman. “To know I could represent the Philippines in the SEAG is my greatest motivation. To be given the chance to play for flag and country is an honor and doing well (in the SEAG) will mean so much to me.”
Paolo Wong wound up sixth at 590 after a 74 followed by Ryan Monsalve and Luis Castro, who tied at 592 after a 71 and 76, respectively, Ivan Monsalve (77-600), Kristoffer Arevalo and Lanz Uy, who pooled identical 602s after 76 and 77, respectively, Rolando Bregente (80-612) and Alexander Bisera (77-615) in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, the PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific.
Meanwhile, the women’s team is expected to be composed of the very same squad that swept the Asian Games gold medals in Jakarta last year, led by individual winner Yuka Saso, bronze medalist Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go.