FOLLOWING his major win in the Philippine Golf Foundation Junior Masters, John Catalan feels he’s ready to turn pro by next year.
Catalan said he plans to join more amateur tournaments in the final half of 2013 in the hopes of building his confidence as he plans to enter the Qualifying School for him to turn pro.
“That’s my plan now after discussing it with my family. Hopefully by next year I can turn pro,” said Catalan after ruling the Class A division of the 15-17-year-old category of the Junior Masters over the weekend.
He clinched the title by defeating Harry Sytiongsa via playoffs on the 20th hole by sinking a 6-foot birdie putt at the Alabang Golf and Country Club in Muntinlupa City in the presence of family members including father Malabon/Navotas Chief Prosecutor Jorge “Jun” Catalan Jr. and sister Jenine.
An incoming sophomore nursing student at the University of Santo Tomas, Catalan earned a slot in the Junior Masters when he ruled the qualifying tournament last month at the Camp John Hay Golf Course in Baguio City.
Catalan barged into the semifinal of the Match Play by beating Janzen Morilla.
He then stunned top favorite Justin Quiban by a stroke to arrange a finals showdown against Sytiongsa, who forced the playoff when Catalan bogeyed on the 18th.
On the 19th hole, both of them made par, but there was no denying Catalan on the 20th.
“It was a scary moment, but I’m glad I was able to make the shot. I’m happy for this win. The support I got, of course from my family, it was really crucial. I hope to continue improving my game,” said Catalan, a member of the Navy Team under the supervision of Chona dela Paz.
“I still want to finish my studies. But I’ll continue playing golf, I’ll continue to practice,” added Catalan, who idolizes American golfer Rickie Fowler, and hopes to follow the footsteps of local teenage sensation Miguel Tabuena.