KOREAN expatriate Park Min-ung, standing tall on a day of ballooning scores, fired a closing three-over-par 75 on Sunday to complete a come-from-behind win in the Philippine Junior Amateur Open championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation at Sherwood Hills.
The 13-year-old, playing out of nearby Riviera in Silang, Cavite, rallied with four birdies in the back nine to complete a 40-35 card and win by two shots over an equally young Malaysian with a 72-hole 296 total in the event forming part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
Ervin Chang, a 14-year-old who started the day two shots up on Park, skied to a 79 after dropping four shots in a four-hole stretch from No. 2 to settle for second spot at 298, still nine strokes ahead of Basti Lorenzo, who also had a 79.
The door for a foreigner winning was left ajar on Saturday after Gabriel Manotoc and Rupert Zaragosa called penalties on themselves after hitting each other’s balls for their approaches on the 14th and were disqualified.
Manotoc, who scored 72 and 70 in his first two rounds, and Zaragosa were running 1-2 coming into the third round before each hit the wrong ball for their respective approaches on the 14th. They discovered their mistake after teeing off on the 15th, making it too late for them to rectify their infractions.
Princess Punzalan also struggled but still ran away with the girls’ title despite a fourth round 80, winning by 10 strokes over Daniella Uy, who fired a 77, in the tournament also backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot, Pacsports and Microtel as the official residence.
Felicia Medalla settled for third in the girls’ division after losing via a countback to Uy. Medalla closed out with a 78 even as Pauline Del Rosario was fourth another four strokes back after an 81.
Sherwood Hills played its toughest this week with the 75 of Park standing as the day’s best score. The wind-swept layout will also host the Putra Cup in June where the best amateurs in the Southeast Asian region will be coming.
Lanz Uy fired a 79 and was fourth in the boys’ division at 311.