Bernardino and Tiongko triumph in ICTSI Junior Golf Tour Visayas Series

Nyito Tiongko (left) and Tiffany Bernardino hold their medals after topping their respective sides in the 13-15 age category of the ICTSI Junior PGT Visayas Series in Bacolod.

BACOLOD CITY – Tiffany Bernardino and Nyito Tiongko emerged victorious in their respective categories at the ICTSI Junior Philippine Golf Tour Visayas Series, showcasing remarkable performances under pressure.

In the girls’ 13-15 category, 13-year-old Tiffany Bernardino from Makati clinched a dramatic win with a final round of 85, narrowly defeating Rane Chiu and Alexie Gabi by a single stroke.

Bernardino finished with a total score of 259 over 54 holes.

Despite a shaky start, Bernardino’s pivotal par on the challenging par-4 17th hole, where her competitors faltered, secured her lead.

“I couldn’t get my game going and wasn’t able to play my best,” Bernardino admitted. “I was pressured but handled it by praying.”

Alexie Gabi, who previously bested Bernardino by eight strokes in Iloilo, narrowly missed a playoff opportunity on the 18th hole, finishing with an 82 and a total of 260. Rane Chiu also scored an 82, securing the runner-up position via countback, both earning critical points for the series.

In the boys’ 13-15 category, Nyito Tiongko from Cebu mirrored Bernardino’s wire-to-wire triumph, winning by a significant 10-stroke margin.

Tiongko, who began the final round with an 11-stroke lead, finished with an 84 for a total score of 239.

Despite early challenges and a frontside 46, Tiongko maintained his composure to secure the win. “I never lost my confidence, even when Inno closed in,” Tiongko stated.

Inno Flores, winner of the Iloilo leg, finished with an 83 for a total of 249, struggling to maintain momentum after an early rally. Dannuo Zhu and Ty Ritchie Go tied for third with scores of 252.

Both Bernardino and Tiongko join other category winners in the second leg of the three-leg Visayas series, part of the nationwide 14-stage Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit.

In the girls’ 16-18 category, Dominique Gotiong from Cebu maintained a commanding lead, finishing the day with an 83 for a total of 245, despite early struggles.

“My target is to score 4-over tomorrow, but I need to be more consistent,” Gotiong commented.

In the boys’ 16-18 division, Patrick Tambalque from Learning Links Academy in Silang, Cavite, posted a tournament-best one-under 69, bringing his three-day total to 217.

“I didn’t expect to shoot 1-under since my ball striking was a little off,” Tambalque said.

Wahing and John Paul Oro also scored a pair of impressive 70s stay at second and third places with 220 and 222, respectively, promising a test of will and character in the final 18 holes.

The top two players from the Visayas series will advance to the National Match Play Finals at The Country Club in October, adding further stakes to the remaining competitions.

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