GEN Nagai matched par 72 for the second straight day and completed a sizzling comeback to rule the Philippine Junior Amateur Championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation at Sherwood Hills in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
The 16-year-old Japanese, a Cebu resident who helped Cebu CC win the PAL Interclub two straight years from 2012, finished with a 301 total.
Nagai won by an astounding eight shots over Gabriel Manotoc, who returned a 78, and the fading Raymart Tolentino, the three-day leader who imploded with an atrocious 84 for 309s.
After birdies on Nos. 2 and 4 and a bogey on the ninth, Nagai already seized a four-stroke lead going into his inward nine to win the biggest event of his young career and keep the championship out of the hands of a Filipino.
Park Min-ung of Korea triumphed last year, with Gio Gandiongco, also a former Cebu CC mainstay now in the United States on a golfing scholarship, the last homegrown bet to win in 2012.
Diego San Pedro, the Fil-Canadian who has been impressive, also had a difficult final day, shooting an 81 to settle for fourth 10 shots behind with Aldric Chan shooting a 73 to catch Park at 313. The South Korean also ballooned to an 82.
Kristopher Arevalo, the 13-14 age-group champion in the Callaway Junior Worlds last year, closed out with an 80 and finished at 318. He was pulled down by a second round 86 that left him too far back.
Bianca Pagdanganan also authored a comeback in the girls’ division, closing out with a 75 to nip Harmie Constantino by three in the PLDT Group Amateur Tour event.
Pagdanganan carved out a 38-37 effort for a 302, with Constantino, who held the lead after a third round of 73, shooting an 80 for 305 in the event also backed by Pancake House, Golf Depot and Pacsports.
Daniela Uy finished with a 79 for 307, with Felicia Medalla shooting herself in the foot with a front nine 47 for an 88 that left her 21 strokes off the winning score.
Indonesian Rivani Sihotang was the best-placed foreigner in the girls’ division at 321 after an 83.