John Rey drubs twin brother; Sinfuego shines at JPGT Iloilo

John Rey Oro and Rhiena Sinfuego (fourth and fifth from left, respectively), pose with (from left) ICTSI PR Services Manager Bambi Marfil, Eddie Gonzales, Jr., John Paul Oro, Necky Tortosa, Blessy Solinap and Iloilo Golf Club assistant general manager and director Del Tamba during awards rites of the ICTSI JPGT Iloilo Visayas Series.

John Rey Oro brushed off an early threat from twin brother John Paul with a scorching backside start, turning a narrow lead into a commanding six-stroke victory with an even-par 70 in the premier category of the ICTSI JPGT Iloilo Visayas Series here yesterday, June 20, 2024.

Rhiena Mae Sinfuego matched John Rey’s wire-to-wire triumph with an even more emphatic win in the girls’ 16-18 division of the first of three tournaments in the region organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. She carded an 88, amassing a four-day total of 356 at the Iloilo Golf Club.

John Rey, 17, turned up the heat on the back nine of the challenging layout, transforming a two-stroke edge into a five-shot advantage with back-to-back birdies from No. 10. In contrast, John Paul faltered with a bogey on the 11th and John Rey’s consistency shone through as he sustained his momentum, adding a chip-in birdie on the difficult par-3 13th, which John Paul bogeyed from five feet.

This solid performance set the stage for John Rey’s unassailable claim to the boys’ 16-18 trophy with a 72-hole total of 296.

“After I birdied Nos. 10 and 11, I gained momentum and everything just flowed from there. I also thanked God for giving me this opportunity,” said John Rey, celebrating his sixth victory and eagerly anticipating the upcoming legs of the JPGT Visayas swing in Bacolod, their home turf.

John Paul actually threatened within one with a birdie on the seventh but conceded the stroke on the next hole after missing green. He also failed to match John Rey’s solid backside start although he closed out with two birdies in the last three holes to save a 74 and a 302, completing the Oros’ domination of the centerpiece division of the four-category series. Eddie Gonzales, Jr. placed third at 318 after an 84.

Sinfuego earlier showcased her dominance over Necky Tortosa, who struggled with a 107, finishing at 423. Blessy Solinap recorded a 114, concluding her campaign in the ICTSI-sponsored series with a 470.

“Despite my lead, I still felt the pressure to deliver because there were so many people watching. I just imagined that it was only me and my caddie out there, which helped me manage the pressure,” said Sinfuego, who has also committed to competing in the Bacolod series.

Tortosa, a one-armed campaigner from Santa Barbara like Sinfuego, actually showed a lot of promise and potential despite her condition with a 102, trailing Sinfuego by just six after the first 18 holes. But while Sinfuego recovered from a 96 with an impressive 85 in the second day, Tortosa wavered with a 111, enabling the 18-year-old BS Criminology student Phinma Univ. of Iloilo student to pull away from the pack.

John Rey and Sinfuego thus joined Kvan Alburo and Eliana Mendoza (8-9), Kurt Flores and Cailey Gonzales (10-12), and Inno Flores and Alexie Gabi in the roster of winners in the kickoff leg of Visayas series of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Meanwhile, registration for the two Bacolod tournaments is currently underway. For details, contact PGTI’s Jhi Castillo at 0928-316-5678 or Shiela Salvania at 0968-311-4101. The Series 2 of the JPGT Visayas is scheduled for June 24-27 at Bacolod Golf and Country Club in Murcia, while Series 3 will take place from July 1-4 at Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.


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