Avena, Katigbak cop Seniors, Mid-Am crowns

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Abe Avena closed out with his worst score in three days – a three-over 75 – but still posted a runaway 12-stroke romp over Alan Alegre while Gerald Katigbak edged Richard Salcedo by two in the 2016 Philippine Senior and Mid-Amateur Open Championship at Summit Point Golf and Country Club in Lipa, Batangas on Friday.

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Avena made just one birdie against two late bogeys and a double bogey but his 37-38 card proved enough to cap the Mt. Malarayat shotmaker’s wire-to-wire triumph in the 54-hole championship with a 217 total that included an opening 70 and a 72.

Alegre, who assumed the challenger’s role with a 72 in the second round, failed to sustain a par-birdie start and stumbled with three bogeys in the next seven holes before finishing with a 41 and a 79. He ended up with a 229 for second in the event which also served as a qualifier for the 2016 Asian Pacific Golf Confederation national seniors squad, according to the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines.

Rolly Viray made a 78 for a 231 and nipped Benjie Sumulong, who skied to a 79, in the countback for third while Rudy Amata turned in a 76 for a 238 and edged Jose Mari Hechanova, who shot a 79, in the countback for fifth in the tournament sponsored by MVP Sports Foundation and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.

Katigbak bucked an opening 40 and a last-hole bogey as he salvaged a 78 for a 232 and nipped Salcedo, who fought back with a 77 for a 234, by two for the Mid-Amateur plum. Japanese Takuya Kawamura placed third with a 241 after an 84.

Rupert Zaragosa matched Avena’s romp, shooting a one-under 71 and winning the invitational Elite Amateur Open crown with a 215 for an 11-stroke victory over Jolo Magcalayo, who fumbled with a 79 for a 226.

Kristoffer Arevalo placed third with a 227 after a 74 while Jan Philip De Claro and Luigi Guerrero took the next two places at 228 and 229 after a 73 and 77, respectively.

Glen Vasquez bagged the Mid-Amateur Division I crown despite an 82 as he pooled a 159 for a three-shot victory over Ronnie Guico, who had a 79 for a 162 while Nelson Ventura finished third at 168 after an 80.

Allain Canapi carded an 84 for a 171 and edged Vic Se, who also shot an 84, by one for the Mid-Amateur Division II title with second round leader Joven Papio blowing his title bid with a 91 for a 173.

Noli Singca made an 84 for a 175 and ran way with the Senior Amateur Division I title with a 175, seven shots over Rustico Ramirez, who had an 182 after a 97, while Nicetas Katigbak ruled the Senior Amateur Division II title with a 155 despite an 81, beating Bong Sison, who had a 78 for a 162, also by seven.

Isidro Valencia topped the Super Senior division with a 180 after a 93, thwarting the rallying Michael McDonald, who carded an 88 for a 181.

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