Richard Abaring toughened up at the backside and held off a rallying Marvin Dumandan, carding an even par 72 to clinch the low medal honors in wire-to-wire fashion in the 2019 PGT Qualifying School at Spendido Taal Golf Club in Laurel, Batangas yesterday.
Abaring hit a clutch birdie on No. 15 to salvage a closing 37-35 card for a 285 total, fending off Dumandan, who battled back from seven strokes down to within two after No. 13 but ran out of holes and ended up second at 287 after a tournament-best 67 in the four-day elims for Filipino players.
Orlan Sumcad placed third with a 289 after a 70 while Rupert Zaragosa will finally leave the amateur ranks to compete with the big guns after finishing fourth at 293 after a 74.
Three other amateurs also made it to the big league, including Noel Langamin, who tied for 12th at 300 with Joseph Suarez (76) and Charles Hong (80); Mel Cubillo, who wound up 20th at 305 after a 79; and Kuresh Samanodi, who shared 36th place at 315 with Lucio Osabel (78) and Nelson Huerva (80).
The top 51 players earned their Category 5 cards for next year’s Philippine Golf Tour with Belem Arancon, Miko Alejandro and Arnel Enema barely making it at 322 after an 82, 83 and 88, respectively.
The rest of the 68-player field settled for Category 7 status in the circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Completing the Top 10 finishers are Rey Pagunsan (71), Jet Mathay (74), Francis Morilla (77) and Efren Robles Jr. (78), who pooled identical 297s, and Benjie Magada (72), Chris delos Santos (75) and Erwin Arcillas (75), who assembled similar 299s.
Others who regained or earned their cards were Cookie La’O, Alfedo Repato Jr., Jun Bernis, Omar Dungca, Jeffrey Pito-on, Elmer Saban, Santiago Gabo, Allan, Remata, Darren Saqui, Jama Reyes, Kris Etter, Joeleo Torrecampo, Ricky delos Santos, Jan Tambogon, Godofredo Sinfuego, Enrico Gallardo, Magno Arancon, Carlos Packing, JR Salahog, Jelbert Gamolo;
Danilo delos Santos, Rey Liberato, Richnell Albano, Rodrigo Cuello, Jomar Pepito, Peter Miñoza, Nico Evangelista, Art Arbole, Jesselito Zaragosa and Juanito Pagunsan.
Meanwhile, the Qualifying School for foreign players will be held on Feb. 19-22, also at Splendido Taal Golf Club.