TRECE Martirez, Cavite – Team Philippines put the finishing touches to an overpowering Putra Cup campaign by closing out with a seven-under 209 that finally snapped a 17-year title drought for the gritty Filipinos at rain-drenched Sherwood Hills here.
Rico Hoey fired a four-under-par 68, Jobim Carlos shot a 70 and any of Rupert Zaragosa or Jonathan Delos Reyes’ 71 counted as the Filipinos tallied 840 for a 22-stroke victory over Singapore.
This marks the first time since 1996 in Myanmar the Filipinos hoisted the Putra Cup, a tournament the Philippines used to dominate with ease.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling,” the 17-year-old Hoey, an incoming freshman at the University of Southern California. “This is definitely worth the trip. The team will enjoy this.”
Jonathan Woo carded a 68 and the veteran Jerome Ng pooled a 73 for Singapore, the 2011 champion in Hong Kong which closed out with a 217 after counting the 76 of Marc Ong for 862 overall.
“It’s such a wonderful feeling, reclaiming this title on home soil,” said National Golf Association of the Philippines president Tommy Manotoc, who spent a big part of the last two years discovering talents to make the country stand proud in the region once again.
Thailand, last year’s champion, made a final day charge and finished just two strokes behind the Singaporeans as Malaysia dropped to fourth after Gavin Green again failed to get the support he needed.
Green carded a third straight 68, but the Malaysians had to count the 82 of Khai Jei Low as the third score. Abel Tam carded a 75 that completed a final round 225.
Green, a University of New Mexico Lobo in the US NCAA, won the individual title by three strokes over Delos Reyes, who battled the Malaysian tooth and nail only to hit two out-of-bounds drives on the 17th to fade out of the fight.
Green tallied 274, while Delos Reyes finished three shots behind. Hoey, who labored hard because of an opening 75, played the final three rounds at 11-under and finished with a 280, three ahead of Carlos.
The72-hole championship is being backed by the Royal & Ancient of Scotland, MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT Amateur Golf Tour, PSC, POC, Philippine Golf Foundation, DOT, Pancake House, Asia Brewery, Turf Company, Sligo, Ping, Intramachineries Doosan, Suntrust, Crimson Hotel and Golf Depot.
Malaysia scored an upset of sorts in the Santi Cup (Women’s) after shooting a final round 139 behind the 69 of Kelly Tan and the 70 of Chin Ven for 576 overall and a one-shot victory over perennial titlist Thailand, which surrendered five strokes on the final day.
The Thai delegation, though, won the Lion City (Junior Men’s) and Kartini (Junior Women’s) Cups with the Thai boys posting a 10-stroke win over Indonesia at 580 and the girls winning by five over the Philippines.
Pauline Del Rosario fired a 75 and Bianca Pagdanganan assembled a 76 for the Filipinas’ closing 155 as they failed to keep in step with the Thais to whom they were tied at the start of the day. Princess Superal carded an atrocious 80 and did not count.