PHL wins World Golf Juniors in Canada

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  • Always, we are world-class not only in boxing but in golf as well.

    This was proven again when our junior golfers recently emerged world champions, beating 14 other countries that paraded their best bets in the annual competition.

    Our terrific trio of Yuka Saso, Harmie Nicole Constantino and Sofia Angela Legaspi played with poise, guts and determination to defeat powerhouses South Korea (second) and United States (third) in the four-day tournament held at the Missassaugua Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Canada, from Sept. 27 to Sept. 30.

    The Philippines actually scored a brilliant double victory when Saso, from Santa Rosa, Laguna, won the individual championship.

    Saso, who was actually a discovery from Davao City by the famed national coach Bong Lopez, won by a whopping 6 strokes over Jennifer Chang of the US, 266-292, with Italy’s Caterina Don finishing third at 293.

    Constantino, the diminutive par-buster from Taguig, Metro Manila, missed third-place honors by a shot with her 294 total in the 45-person field.

    Aside from the Philippines, South Korea, US and Italy (finishing 1-4 in that order), the other competing countries  were England (No. 5), Sweden (6), Denmark (7), Finland and France (tied for 8), China and Germany (tied for 10), Canada (12),Norway (13), Canada 2 and Mexico (tied for 14) and Spain (16).

    The four-person PHL delegation was headed by Caloy Coscolluela, the president of the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP).

    “This is a breakthrough moment for us and our victory was a vindication for us after our accidental absence last year in the World Junior Golf,” said the NGAP’s driving force Charlyn Clavis Facundo, the association’s administrative and finance officer.

    Our players missed securing their Canadian visas last year as their stint in the 2015 Putra Cup was too close to the World Juniors Golf.

    “We had run out of time and we failed to catch the schedule to secure the Canadian visas in 2015,” said Charlyn, famously known as a human dynamo at the NGAP with her near-flawless dedication to work ethics.

    But that did not deter us from participating this year, a decision that had paid off handsomely.

    “With this victory, I feel there is now a looming golf renaissance in our country,” said Jake P. Ayson, the former executive director of the NGAP.  “We have always been strong contenders in world golf.  At this juncture, I wish to also commend ICTSI’s Ricky Razon for his never-ending generous support for golf development in the country.  It is people like him that makes the sport alive and very much kicking, whether amateur or pro events.  I salute him endlessly.”

    Our victory in Canada, indeed, augurs well for Philippine golf, especially the distaff side.

    Miguel Tabuena, only 21, has started the sparks for an energetic recovery in Philippine men’s golf.

    With the troika of Saso, Constantino and Legaspi, we can only look forward to a brighter tomorrow in Philippine ladies golf.

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