SEVERAL foreigners in both the boy’s and girl’s divisions have signed up for the NGAP’s Philippine Junior Amateur Championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation starting on Tuesday at Sherwood Hills in Cavite.
South Korean expat Kim Tae Woo, a 16-year-old with a handicap of three and playing out of Royal Northwoods in Bulacan, heads the foreign challenge in the boy’s division of the 72-hole stroke play event forming part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
Indonesian Rivani Sihotang, a five-handicapper, is in the girl’s event where the entire ICTSI squad led by world junior campaigners Mikhaela Fortuna, Bernice Olivares-Ilas and Abegail Arevalo are the favorites.
Kristopher Arevalo, who won the world 13-14 crown in San Diego last year, and former champion Rupert Zaragosa will spearhead the local challenge in the event also backed by Pancake House, PacSports and Golf Depot.
Arevalo is looking to win the first national championship of his career, while Zaragosa will be gunning to win for the second time in the last four years.
Ming Ung Park, a Korean playing out of Sherwood, won this event last year with Gio Gandiongco, who is in the United States on a golfing scholarship, the last Filipino to triumph, winning the year before.
Jelbert Gamolo, Aaron Anasco and Marlon Santiago, products of Del Monte’s grassroots program in Bukidnon, will be formidable contenders like Gabriel Manotoc and Lanz Uy.
Special divisions in the boy’s bracket – the 13-under and the 18-21 – will be held as the NGAP aims to accommodate, and expose, as many players to a high-magnitude tournament as possible.
Philippine team member Justin Quiban and Jonas Magcalayo are entered in the older bracket.