Jobim Carlos and Harmie Constantino built enough cushion to buck a pair of faltering finishes and complete their domination of the Philippine Amateur (Stroke Play) Open Golf Championship at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club’s Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite on Friday.
Carlos, who virtually sealed his title-retention drive in the country’s premier amateur championship with a 10-shot lead on a bogey-free 66 in the third round, closed out with a four-over 40 for a 75 and still beat Gen Nagai by seven on a six-under 282 aggregate.
“Hopefully this win will inspire me to excel more next week when I join the Asian Tour Q-School in Thailand,” said Carlos, referring to the region’s premier circuit final elims stage in Hua Hin, Thailand where he seeks to earn a Tour card starting this year.
The 23-year-old shotmaker is also set to join the local pro tour starting next month after finishing fourth in the recent Q-School, which he actually topped last year before deciding to stay in the ranks and further hone up his talent and skills.
Playing pressure-free in the final round, Carlos bounced back from a bogey on No. 2 with two birdies to close out his frontside stint then just went through the motions at the back, making bogeys on Nos. 10 and 12 before dropping two shots on the par-5 16th, miscues he could afford given the huge lead he had built after 54 holes.
The victory also came on the heels of his triumph in the NGAP National Doubles at Aguinaldo last week where he teamed up with Iñigo Raymundo in a win that helped fuel his drive to post a dominant victory this week in the event, the kickoff leg of this year’s PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and Metro Pacific Investment Corp.
Nagai matched par 72 in windy condition and wound up with a 289 while Korean Jang Jun Ha ended up with a 73 for a 293 followed by Aidric Chan (73-298) while Jang Yu Bin, also of Korea, and Weiwei Gao finished tied for fifth at 301 after identical 75s.
Rupert Zaragosa carded a 74 to place seventh at 302 while Luis Castro and Ira Alido took the next three spots at 303 and 304 after a 72 and 78, respectively, while Lanz Uy shot the day’s best of 70 to tie reigning Hong Kong Junior champion Leon Philip D’Souza, who skied to a 77, at 306.
The diminutive Constantino, eight-up on Korean Lee Ji Hyeon and Yuka Saso at the start of the final round, padded her lead over Lee to 10 after 10 holes on two birdies but wavered with a double-bogey on the par-3 17th to settle for a 72 for an eight-shot romp on a 283 total.
Lee also matched par 72 and took solo second at 291 as Saso sputtered with a 74 and wound up third at 293 followed by Hwang Min Jeong of Korea (77-297), Malaysian Nur Durriyah Damian (75-298), LK Go (76-301), Felicia Medalla (75-305), Koh Eua A of Korea (78-307), Genevieve Ling I-Rynn of Malaysia (79-310) and Kristine Torralba (78-313) in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.