RED-hot Rupert Zaragosa didn’t show signs of cooling down, closing with a one-under-par 71 on Saturday to win the NGAP’s Philippine Amateur Closed championship by eight shots over Rico Hoey at Sherwood Hills in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
The 15-year-old from Don Bosco in Canlubang broke par in all four rounds of the National Golf Association of the Philippines event, finishing at 277 to complete his collection of national titles, counting the men’s and boy’s match play wins in 2011 and the Philippine Amateur Junior Closed championship just two weeks ago.
“Winning just one national title is hard enough. I am very blessed to have won all of them,” Zaragosa said.
Hoey, the 17-year-old Fil-American recruited to play for the Philippine Putra Cup team, carded a level 72 for a 285 total.
Jobim Carlos charged home hard with a 67 to finish third, another six shots off.
Jonathan delos Reyes, who will join Zaragosa, Carlos and Hoey in trying to regain the Putra Cup for the Philippines, fired a 71 for 292.
Cebu Country Club’s Lloyd Jefferson Go had a 76 to finish fifth at 299.
Regina de Guzman, came up with a 32 on the back nine for a final-round 68 to finish at 290 and win the women’s side of the event by 10 shots over Bianca Pagdanganan.
Pagdanganan, who either led or had a share of the lead after each of the first three rounds, struggled with a closing 81. Pauline Del Rosario shot a 71 for third place.
Zaragosa started the day with a seven-shot lead and didn’t let his pursuers get closer, shooting two birdies against a bogey on the front nine and playing steady the rest of the way in the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation as part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour and backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot and Pacsports.
The Putra Cup starts Thursday next week and the Philippines will try to snatch the title from Thailand. The Filipinos last reigned supreme in Southeast Asia’s team golf championship in 1996 in Myanmar.