RUPERT Zaragosa and JP De Claro leaned on a steady frontside stint to pool a 145 and complete their fightback from three strokes down to capture the men’s crown in the Meralco National Doubles Amateur (Closed) Championship at Wack Wack’s West Course on Friday.
Zaragosa, the former national amateur and junior champion, and De Claro both made the turn with even par 36s, then watched erstwhile frontrunners Miggy Yee-AR Ramos and Jobim Carlos-Jonar Austria stumble with over-par scores to claim a four-stroke victory with a closing 71 and 74, respectively.
Their 145 total in the aggregate format gave them a three-day haul of 283, including a pair of 69s in the two-ball and four-ball that kept them within striking distance of the leaders after two days of play in the event sponsored by Meralco and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Yee and Ramos, who snatched a one-shot lead over Carlos and Austria and three over the Zaragosa-De Claro pair in the second round, struggled with 39 and 37, respectively, at the front.
Carlos and Austria meanwhile, hobbled with 38 and 39, respectively, enabling the Zaragosa-De Claro tandem to wrest control en route to victory.
Yee and Ramos ended up with a pair of 76s for a 152 and dropped to second with 287, while Carlos, winner of this event last year with Raymond Gonzales, wound up with a 76 and Austria had a 77 for a 153 and 289 for third.
Top ICTSI bet Princess Superal saved her best for last and shot a bogey-free five-under 67, while teammate Daniella Uy carded a 74 for a 141 as they rallied from seven shots down to beat Mia Legaspi and Felicia Medalla by two and snatch the ladies crown in the event sponsored by Pancake House, Titleist by Empire Golf, Pacsports and Golf Depot.
Superal tamed the backside with four birdies en route to a 35-32 card, while Uy used a solid frontside stint of 34 to help steer the team to the stirring come-from-behind victory with a 292 total, including a fat 82 in the two-ball and a 69 in the alternate shot format.
Legaspi matched par 72, while Medalla had a 76 for a 148 and a 294, while erstwhile leaders Sam Martirez skied to an 80 and teammate Marvi Monsalve sputtered with a 79 for a 159 as the duo, which started the final round two up on Legaspi and Medalla and seven ahead of Superal and Uy, tumbled to third with a 303.
Bianca Pagdanganan made a 76 while Dana Gonzales had a 75 for a 151 for fourth at 304, even as Samantha Bruce and Gabrielle Bruce pooled a 318 after a 160 followed by Sophia Blanco and Yuka Saso (166-330) and Andie Unson and Lorna Tabuena (174-342).
Superal, 16, thus closed out a banner season with 10 victories, including three in Malaysia while drawing solid support from Uy, who shot two birdies at the front to cushion the impact of her faltering finish of 40.
Gabriel Manotoc carded a 74 while Gonzales made a 75 for a 149 as they finished fourth at 291 while Lawrence Celestino, winner of the recent Philex NGAP Northern Luzon Regionals, fought back with a 146 on two 73s to finish fifth at 292 in the event which served as the final leg of the Globe Business Amateur Circuit.
Kristoffer Arevalo matched par 72 and teammate Raymart Tolentino had a 76 for a 148 as they assembled a 295 and won the Group II crown by a whopping 16-shot romp over Paolo Uy and Patrick Uy, who had a 163 from 78 and 85, respectively, for a 311. Don Petil and Ricky Velasco had 73 and 85, respectively, for a 158 as they wound up third with a 319.