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HomeNationContestQuid pro quo, sudden death dramas electrify JGFP Mindanao Pueblo Junior Open

Quid pro quo, sudden death dramas electrify JGFP Mindanao Pueblo Junior Open

Junior Golf at Pueblo de Oro got off to a sizzling start as the matches went down to the wire for both the boys and girls marquee divisions during the second leg of the Mindanao Open held January 9-11, 2023 in Cagayan de Oro City.

In the girls marquee 15-18 division, it was a friendly rivalry renewed as Kiara Montebon shot 68 and 69 to capture the girls’ event with 137, to edge Ally Gaccion’s 142 (70-72). Ally beat Kiara in a sudden death playoff on this same event last year. Both are Kagay-anons and members of the Pueblo de Oro Golf and  Country Club.

Crista Mendoza, Kiara Montebon, Ally Gaccion & Pueblo Golf Manager Kits Pinga

However, Ally captured the girls’ WAGR event with a 3-day total of 213, one stroke ahead of Kiara’s 214.

The tourney was both a WAGR® (The Official Men’s and Women’s Amateur Golf Rankings) and JGFP (Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines) event. Scores for the 3-days were counted for the WAGR ranking, while only the last two days were counted for the JGFP event.

“There has been a boom in golf worldwide ever since the pandemic started, since golf was one of the few sports allowed during the pandemic. So there was a boom all over the world in the number of golfers during the pandemic,” said Gil Blas M. Velez, JGFP Director for Northern Mindanao.

Photo courtesy of Joy Tabs

“Cagayan de Oro has been part of that boom, especially with our junior golfers. Four to five years ago we could only count with our hands the number of jungolfers playing, but today we have seen that number grow tenfold,” he noted.

“We are also blessed to have Pueblo golf course in such close proximity to the city that our kids have easy access to play and practice, which is such a rare opportunity and puts us in an ideal spot to develop our junior golfers. Last year was our first ever interschool tournament, we actually had enough junior golfers to form a school team, it was participated and supported by most of the schools in Mindanao and was a hugely successful event,” Velez added.

There was a similar drama in the Boys marquee 15-18 Division. While Aldrien Gialon of Davao City dominated both the tournament with a 142 (72-70) finish as well as topping the 54-hole WAGR ranking event with 211 (69-72-70), three players finished in a tie for second.

Photo courtesy of Tonette Bacol-Guillermo) 1

On top of that, the final round was marked by playoff matches in two divisions.

In the Boys 15-18 Division, John Canlas, an 18-year-old student from De la Salle Santiago Zobel, won the first extra hole, dropping a 10-foot eagle putt on the seventh. Cliff Nuneza made a birdie to take third spot at the expense of Iggy Fabiala.

Similarly, Clement Ordeneza of Del Monte and Geoffrey Tan of Xavier School forged a title showdown in the Boys’ 13-14 after finishing 36 holes with identical 151s. Both missed birdie putts on the first two extra holes, then Tan forced another extension by saving par off the bunker. However, Tan topped his shot in his second trip on the bunker, and Ordeneza punctuated his win with a birdie.

The Batican siblings, also from Cagayan de Oro and Pueblo Golf, shared the limelight by with impressive rounds.

(Photo courtesy of Meggie May Casing Espina)

Apollo Batican, the 11-year-old playing in boys’ 13-14, carded a 71 to climb to third place. His younger sister, Athena, was even more impressive, firing a tournament-best 66 to clinch the girls’ 9-10.

“JGFP led by President Oliver Gan has been instrumental in recognizing and supporting local talent here in Mindanao,” Velez said. “Our local junior leaders such as Frankie Minoza, Ronald Canlas, Alfred Gaccion, Gladys Opitz, the management and members of Pueblo, and all the regional junior golf leaders in Davao, Cotabato, Bukidnon have all been supportive and dedicated to our growth. We also would have to mention the proud parents’ dedication in being part of their children’s journey.”

Kiara Montebon (seated) & Ally Gaccion.

“We have seen a huge amount of success in tournaments outside the Philippines as well, our local junior golfers such as Ally Gaccion and Apollo Batican have been an inspiration and proving to us that they have what it takes to compete in the international stage,” he added.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, we need our kids to gain more experience and learn at the international level- having the facilities, coaching, equipment, and technology to be at par with our Asian counterparts. We are taking it one step at a time, and hopefully with more support we will achieve that someday soon.”

In other results, Nicole Gaisano Gan bounced back with a 72 to win the girls’ 13-14 by one shot over Isabella Tabanas.

The other division winners were Ken Guillermo, boys’ 11-12; Iza Racines, girls’ 11-12; Franco Qui, boys’ 9-10; Jaime Barnes, boys’ 7-8; Abby Qui, girls’ 7-8; Iñigo Espina, boys’ 6-and-under; and Sistine Yu, girls’ 6-and-under.

WAGR results

Boys’ WAGR – Aldrien Gialon 211 (69-72-70), Clement Ordeneza 219 (68-75-76), Cliff Nuneza 221 (71-74-76), Simon Wahing 222 (71-75-76), Nino Villacencio 222 (71-77-74), Geoffrey Tan 226 (75-74-77), Xhylas Luzon 227 (72-78-77), Iggy Fabiala 227 (77-74-76), Apollo Batican 228 (76-81-71), Mark Parilla 230 (78-80-72), Alexis Nailga 232 (71-86-75), Adrian Bisera 236 (76-77-83), John Canlas 237 (87-77-73), Cody Langamin 238 (75-80-83), Kenly Wacan 242 (83-76-83), Keith Pagalan 243 (80-81-82), Martin Quinlog 248 (85-77-86), Martin Lu 249 (80-81-88), Harrold Tagud 250 (88-80-82), AJ Wacan 251 (83-87-81), Wendell Aparilla 253 (92-79-82), Vincenzo Tiu 267 (97-91-79), Marcus Huertas 286 (98-96-92)

Girls’ WAGR – Alethea Gaccion 213 (71-70-72), Kiara Montebon 214 (77-68-69), Nicole Gaisano Gan 223 (74-77-72), Isabella Tabanas 230 (80-75-75), Crista Minoza 233 (77-78-78), Asara Sawhney 239 (79-81-79), Zero Plete 250 (85-80-85), Merry Wacan 257 (89-82-86), Princess Babia 266 (97-88-81), Mikela Guillermo 303 (100-101-102), Jameeka Uy 373 (134-127-112), Kenly Yu 387 (132-134-121), Marley Yu 409 (137-140-132)

Complete results of the JGFP Mindanao Pueblo Junior Open at Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club in Cagayan de Oro City

Boys’ 15-18 – Aldrien Gialon 142 (72-70), John Canlas 150 (77-73), Cliff Nuneza 150 (74-76), Iggy Fabiala 150 (74-76), Simon Wahing 151 (75-76), Nino Villacencio 151 (77-74), Mark Parilla 152 (80-72),

Xhylas Luzon 155 (78-77), Kenly Wacan 159 (76-83), Adrian Bisera 160 (77-83), Wendell Aparilla 161 (79-82), Harrold Tagud 162 (80-82), Cody Langamin 163 (80-83), Keith Pagalan 163 (81-82), Martin Quinlog 163 (77-86), Martin Lu 169 (81-88), Marcus Huertas 188 (96-92)

Girls’ 15-18 – Kiara Montebon 137 (68-69), Alethea Gaccion 142 (70-72), Crista Minoza 156 (78-78)

Boys’ 13-14 – Clement Ordeneza 151 (75-76), Geoff Tan 151 (74-77), Apollo Batican 152 (81-71), Alexis Nailga 161 (86-75), AJ Wacan 168 (87-81), Vincenzo Tiu 170 (91-79)

Girls’ 13-14 – Nicole Gaisano Gan 149 (77-72), Isabella Tabanas 150 (75-75), Asara Sawhney 160 (81-79), Zero Plete 165 (80-85), Merry Wacan 168 (82-86), Mikela Guillermo 203 (101-102), Jameeka Uy 239 (127-112), Kenly Yu 255 (134-121), Marley Yu 272 (140-132)

Boys’ 11-12 – Ken Guillermo 162 (80-82), Javier Bautista 168 (83-85), Blademher Estologa 178 (93-85), Felix Bula III 180 (87-93), Kiel Elvena 181 (95-86), Paul Badelic 197 (99-98), Louie Remolador 201 (105-96), Gabriel Huertas 219 (115-104), Santiago Sagarbarria 242 (121-121)

Girls’ 11-12 – Iza Racines 221 (115-106)

Boys’ 9-10 – Franco Qui 159 (80-79), Mico Woo 167 (82-85), Alonzo Retuerto 170 (87-83), Rafael Yap 226 (113-113), Almario Sia 233 (116-117)

Girls’ 9-10 – Athena Batican 145 (79-66), Eliana Dumalaog 154 (84-70), Isabella Espina 159 (81-78)

Boys’ 7-8 – Jaime Barnes 146 (68-78), Shaqeeq Tanog 180 (90-90), James Rolida 189 (95-94)

Girls’ 7-8 – Abby Qui 164 (84-80), Elyse Geroy 180 (92-88), Claren Quino 209 (99-110), Jannah Sanchez 224 (113-111)

Boys’ 6-and-under – Inigo Espina 137 (71-66)

Girls’ 6-and-under – Sistine Yu 183 (90-93)

(Compiled from wire reports, Pueblo Golf and an online report from SPIN.PH)

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