SAN DIEGO, California - Jed Dy settled for the runner-up trophy in the boys 9-10 years division that glistened like gold for Team Philippines on Thursday (Wednesday in Manila), leaving top girls 15-17 bet Daniella Uy to fight for a highly-improbable victory in the 47th Callaway Junior World golf championship here.
Tied for the lead with Japanese-American Tatsuki Nemoto after 16 holes, the 10-year-old Dy pressed his title bid only to be denied by one monster putt from Nemoto on the 17th whose 40-footer birdie won him the championship by one stroke after a day-long shootout under the blazing sun that involved no less than eight players at the Lawrewnce Welk Resort's Fountain course.
Dy, an incoming fifth grade student at the Makati Chinese International School, finished with a 181 total, while Nemoto wound up with 59 for 180 in a heartbreaking result for the young Filipino kid and winner of the 7-8 years division in 2012 who could have clinched a second championship in three years had he made crucial birdie putts in the back nine, including a four-footer on the 15th hole.
While Dy was missing his birdie putt, Nemoto - who was playing in the flight ahead - flubbed a par putt on the nearby 16th green that forged the tie.
“It wasn't meant to be,” Jed's father, Ayala president and CEO Bobby, said later, ruing the many chances that his son gave himself by ferociously attacking the pins.
Dy's was the only shining moment for Filipino bets in the 54-hole battles for the lower divisions that was dominated by Japan and Thailand, with Bernice Ilas, Harmie Constantino, and Sean Granada managing only top 11 finishes for their team.
Ilas earned a tie for fourth in the girls 11-12 years play at Rancho Bernardo Inn course with her 72-216 that was just two strokes off the winning score, while Constantino earned solo sixth in girls 13-14 years with a 73-212 at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo where Thai lass Tavatanakit completed her masterful romp of the field with a closing 68 for another tournament record 23-under total of 193.
Granada (63-188) was the best finisher among the PH boys with his 11th place showing in the boys 7-8 years.
“Jed Dy showed he was a fighter aside from his solid ball striking, we're looking at a kid who will be in championship contention in more Junior World competitions,” said Luigi Tabuena, president of the Jungolf Foundation of the Philippines.
“All the kids tried their best and it's now for us to prepare them better and harder next year.”
The Philippines' final chance for a victory now rests on Uy who at five strokes down is the one closest to the joint leaders in the girls 15-17 years event.
Uy, who has accepted a golf scholarship at Gonzaga State starting this year, is proving her worth as she stayed in fifth place with a third round score of 72 for a 212 aggregate.
Miya Legaspi struggled with a 74 and dropped to a share of 11th at 215 with compatriot Princess Superal, who finally broke par with a 70.
Rupert Zaragosa and the other PH bets in the boys 15-17 are all taking an early vacation after they missed the third round cut.