Aguilar, 7 others secure spots in Junior Golf Finals

BACOLOD CITY – Ana Marie Aguilar’s impressive performance in the front nine led her to victory in the 8-9 category of the ICTSI JPGT Visayas Series 3, securing her a place in the Philippine Junior Match Play Championship this October.

Aguilar’s frontside score of 52 contributed to a total of 109, culminating in a 229 overall score. She emerged victorious in a tight contest against Faith Reosura and Aria Montelibano.

Reosura and Montelibano, who posted frontside scores of 62 and 63, respectively, were unable to keep up with Aguilar’s pace, finishing with totals of 238 and 244.

“I’m very happy that I’ll be going to Manila. I’m going to keep practicing for the national finals, particularly on my driving and putting,” according to Aguilar, niece of former top amateur and Ladies PGT campaigner Anya Tanpinco.

In the boys’ 8-9 category, Tobias Tiongko clinched the championship with an 86, overcoming a three-stroke deficit with a frontside 44 to achieve a 179 total. James Rolida finished with a 95 for a 185 after struggling with a 49 start. Tiongko, who also placed third in Bacolod, earned 25 points and joined division leader Kvan Alburo, who dominated the first two legs and earned 30 points.

“I trusted myself and I tried very hard to win,” said Tiongko, a Homeschool Global student from Cebu. “I’ll focus on my irons and short game and will practice more to get better for the finals.”

Aguilar secured her spot in the national finals with 27 points, following Eliana Mendoza, who won the Iloilo and Bacolod legs with 30 points. Race Manhit and Kurt Flores (boys 10-12) and Cailey Gonzales and Zuri Bagaloyos (girls 10-12) also secured slots in the 72-player Match Play cast.

Manhit, an Ateneo student, led his category with a 76, finishing with a 154 and outclassing Rafael Alvarez (94-190) and Isaac Locsin (102-203). Manhit earned 30 points, while Flores took the other finals slot with 27 points.

Maurysse Abalos won the girls’ 10-12 category with an 80, topping Kelsey Bernardino by two strokes. Bernardino bogeyed the final hole, finishing with an 82 for a 168 total, while Chelsea Ogborne came third with 212.

In other divisions, Nyito Tiongko positioned himself for consecutive victories with a 79 for a 154, leading Gabriel Handog (85-162) by eight strokes in the boys’ 13-15 division. Tiffany Bernardino leads the girls’ 13-15 category with a 176 after a 90, followed closely by Rane Chiu (87-178) and Alexie Gabi (96-183).

In the premier 16-18 category, Dominique Gotiong nearly secured a Match Play slot with an 86 for a 168. Rhiena Sinfuego, winner of the Iloilo leg, is in second with a 201 after a 98, followed by Breanna Rojas at 205 after a 103. Simon Wahing leads the boys’ 16-18 division with a 77 for a 151, followed by Bryce Lacida at 155 and John Rey Oro at 161.

The top performers will compete in the national finals of the series sponsored by ICTSI, set for October 1-4 at The Country Club in Laguna.


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