Wahing, Gotiong triumph in JPGT Negros series

Dominique Gotiong (second from right) and Simon Wahing (second from left) pose with fellow national finalists John Rey Oro and Rhiena Sinfuego during awards rites of the JPGT Visayas Series 3 at the Negros Occidential Golf and Country Club. With them are NOGCC president Gabrielle Monfort (left) and organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. executive director Narlene Soriano (right).

BACOLOD CITY – Simon Wahing of Bukidnon and Dominique Gotiong of Cebu emerged as champions in their respective categories at the ICTSI JPGT Visayas Series 3 held at the Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club. Both golfers secured their spots in the Philippine Junior Match Play Championship after stellar performances.

Wahing, 16, clinched the boys’ 16-18 title with a score of 78, finishing with a 307 total. He bested Bryce Lacida by three strokes despite a double-bogey on No. 15 and a bogey-bogey finish.

Wahing’s win came after a runner-up finish at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club the previous week.

“I struggled at the front and became nervous when Lacida moved closer,” Wahing admitted, but his confidence never wavered. He now looks forward to the national finals, potentially competing in the JPGT Luzon series at Riviera for further preparation.

John Rey Oro of Iloilo secured the other national finals slot with a 311 total, finishing third in the tournament.

Oro had previously won the Iloilo leg, and his consistent performance in Bacolod earned him 25 points.

In the girls’ division, 16-year-old Gotiong dominated with a score of 80, concluding with a 326 total.

She outpaced her closest competitor, Rhiena Sinfuego of Iloilo, by 69 strokes. Gotiong’s victory in Negros followed a commanding performance in Murcia, despite some challenges.

“I think I did better here at Marapara than at the Bacolod Golf and Country Club because the course here is wider,” Gotiong said.

She acknowledged the need to enhance her game, particularly in gaining distance and improving her short game, in preparation for the finals at The Country Club in October. She expressed gratitude for her family’s support, especially her father-coach Dominic.

Sinfuego, who participated in the Bacolod legs through sponsorships, earned a spot in the finals with 27 points. She voiced concerns about her readiness and ability to compete in Manila but remains determined.

Other notable finalists from the Visayas series include Eliana Mendoza, Ana Marie Aguilar, Kvan Alburo, Tobias Tiongko (8-9 age group), Zuri Bagaloyos, Cailey Gonzales, Race Manhit, Kurt Flores (10-12), and Tiffany Bernardino, Rane Chiu, Nyito Tiongko, and Inno Flores (13-15).

The tournament, organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and sponsored by ICTSI, showcased young talents and set the stage for the national finals, where the best junior golfers from across the country will compete.


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