AMATEUR golf star Abby Arevalo birdied the tough closing hole to win the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship at Riviera’s Langer course on Thursday in Silang, Cavite.
Arevalo carded a closing 70 for a 214 aggregate, beating Pauline del Rosario by one.
The winning birdie came off a brilliant 6-iron approach shot from 150 yards off a divot lie, the ball landing 10 feet behind the pin on No. 18.
“I couldn’t believe I won,” the 18-year-old Arevalo, who is on a golf scholarship at San Jose State University in the US, said after leaving the tour's top pros in the shade.
“I never expected the putt would be for the win. But I really made a good read of it,” added Arevalo, who has also posted a number of victories abroad as member of Team ICTSI.
Del Rosario had drawn level at two-over following Arevalo’s flubbed three-footer for par on the 17th, but the amateur star played steadier on the closing hole.
Del Rosario also hit a good drive and made it in two but missed her birdie putt from 15 feet. She wound up with a 72 and finished second at 215 although she still pocketed the top prize of P150,000.
Thailand’s Saruttaya Ngam-usan, tied for the lead after the second round, failed to recover from a double-bogey on No. 2, and Arevalo took the lead with a 34 on the front nine while Del Rosario fumbled with a 37.
Arevalo is the first amateur to win on the circuit this year but three won last year, with Bernice Ilas-Olivarez winning at Beverly Place, Yuka Saso at Eagle Ridge and Harmie Constantino at Mt. Malarayat.
Thailand’s Chatprapa Siriprakob matched par 71 and placed third at 217 worth P95,000 while reigning Philippine Ladies Open champion Bianca Pagdanganan finally broke par at the par-71 ravine-laced layout, closing out with a 70 and snaring fourth place at 220.
Saruttaya Ngam-usan shot an 80 and tumbled to fifth at 223.
Thais Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Tiranan Yoopan shared sixth place at 224 after a 72 and 76, respectively, while another Thai Numa Gulyanamitta shot a 73 to grab eighth place at 228 followed by Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, also of Thailand, who pooled a 231 after an 81.
Apple Fudolin carded a 77 for a 232 and placed 10th in the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.