Top seed Tom Kim and Ira Alido knocked off their respective semifinal rivals with similar one-sided romps yesterday to arrange a showdown for the 2016 Philippine Junior Amateur Match Play Golf Championship boys’ crown at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.
Fil-Japanese Yuka Saso and Korean Hwang Min-jeong, meanwhile, pulled off victories in varying fashions to forge a face-off for the girls’ title in the annual event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT, Smart, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Kim, chasing a sweep of the junior crowns after copping the stroke play championship last month, rolled past Peter Tyler Po, 5&4, in the morning quarterfinals then blasted Ryan Monsalve, 6&5, to seal an explosive title duel with Alido.
The second-seeded Alido survived Luis Castro’s stubborn stand in the quarters, hacking out a 2&1 decision but outclassed the third ranked Aniceto Mandanas in their afternoon semis clash to fashion out a 5&4 victory for a crack at the crown in the event held as part of the PLDT National Amateur Golf Tour and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Monsalve earlier trounced John Jun, 3&1, while Mandanas crushed Adrian Romero, 6&4.
Saso, who dominated the 36-hole stroke play elims, sustained her form and whipped Jona Magcalayo, 5&4, in the quarters then dominated Kristine Torralba, 5&4, to earn a crack at the championship.
But she will be up against a rising Korean star Hwang, who eased past Ashia Nocum, 4&3, in the morning quarters before bundling out last year’s champion Harmie Constantino on the 19th hole.
The second ranked Constantino, looking forward to sealing another title clash with Saso, whom she beat in last year’s finals, edged Koh Eun A, 2&1, in the quarters but lost steam in her grueling duel with the young Korean, losing the battle on the 19th hole.
Hwang, who surprised the cream of the country’s ladies pro crop, including fellow amateur ace Princess Superal, to win the Mt. Malarayat stage of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last year, hopes to add the crown to her growing list of victories.
But Saso, who helped steer Team Philippines to third in last week’s Queen Sirikit Cup in Korea, is also out atone for her failed bid last year, guaranteeing a fierce showdown for the crown today.
Both finals are slated over 36 holes with the battle for third on both sides a pair of 18-hole affairs.
In special division, Mikaela Arroyo upended Sunshine Zhang, 2&1, to capture the girls’ 13-and-below plum while Perry Bucay routed David Guangko 6&5, and Francis Lanuza upset Zachary Castro, 2&1, to arrange a duel for the boys’ 13-and-below title.
In the 18-and-above class, Luigi Guerrero dominated Polo Lauron, 6&4, while Ivan Monsalve nipped Diana Araneta, 2&2, in the first set matches while Gabriel Manotoc subdued Araneta, 2-up, and Monsalve edged Guerrero, 1-up, in the afternoon matches.
Monsalve will thus clash with Lauron while Guerrero takes on Manotoc in today’s matches.