JOEY Huerva boosted his stock for next year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour as he topped the PGT Qualifying School in runaway fashion on Friday, closing out with a one-under 71 and beating Jun Rates and Arnold Villacencio by six at Eagle Ridge’s Norman Course in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Huerva hit five birdies against four bogeys for a 36-35 card and emerge the lone player to finish under-par in the 72-hole eliminations which selected the top 40 players to join the top 40 from this year’s ICTSI PGT Order of Merit ranking in next season’s circuit.
However, the qualifiers do not include Artemio Murakami, a former mainstay in the Asian Tour and a former winner in the local tour whose game has unravelled over the last few years.
With his earlier 73, 69 and 72, Huerva, who had to go through the Q-School after finishing 48th in the OOM, pooled a three-under 285 to dominate the field with Rates matching par 72 and Villacencio fumbling with a 75 to share second place at 291.
Ramil Bisera also shot a 71 and wound up fourth at 292 followed by Cookie La’O, who had 293 after a 73, for fifth and Rico Depilo, who made a 75 for a 294, for sixth in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Amateur John Kier Abdon formally joined the big league by finishing joint seventh at 296 after shooting the day’s best two-under 70 along with Rene Menor and Albin Engino, who had 74 and 77, respectively.
Amateurs Magno Arancon carded a 74 and Keanu Jahns made a 77 as they likewise made it to the pro ranks by finishing tied for 10th at 299 with Paul Echavez, who had a 79, while Hanson So Jr. and Jan Tambogon shared 13th place at 300 after a 73 and 74, respectively.
Two more amateurs – Leonard Lofranco (76-301) and Francis Morilla (76-313) – also gained their Tour cards while veteran Edgar Ababa nipped three others in the countback to clinch the last spot at No. 40 with a 315 after a 76.
They included former leg winner Murakami, who made a 79, Jordan Mamaril, who had a 78, and Israel Bisera, who also wound up with a 79.
Carito Villaroman also gained his card with a 310 after a 75 for 29th place along with Antolin Fernando (79-313) and Erwin Vinluan (84-314).
Murakami and nine others, however, gained Category 11 status, filling in the vacant slots for each leg next year.
Meanwhile, the foreign Q-School will be held on January 13-17 at Eagle Ridge’s Aoki layout with deadline for registration on January 10. Entry fee for the foreign Q-School is pegged at P10,000. For details, contact PGT (Jocelyn Duque) at 049-5492564 or 0915-7824751 or download application at pgt.ph.