Leandro Luis Bagtas was just seven when his father, the renowned Pinoy golfer Eddie Bagtas, introduced him to golf.
“I used to go with my dad in the driving range and hit a few balls and he would always teach me. After that I developed and got into the game,” the younger Bagtas recalled with nostalgia.
At that same age, Bagtas got his first taste of international competition when he joined the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship in San Diego, California. From that moment onward, the young golfer takes pride in carrying the Philippine flag in international tournaments.
“It feels great especially competing in another country w
ith a lot of different people. It was a lifetime opportunity,” said Bagtas, now 13-year old.
Standing at five-foot-eight, Bagtas knows how to have fun and at the same time prepare for his future. He plays basketball and Play Station 4 during his leisure time—and when he’s not playing golf or studying—he’s preparing pizza at his newly opened restaurant in Antipolo.
An eighth-grader at the Montessori Schoolhouse of Kent, Bagtas usually does three or four-hole play after school or visit the driving range late in afternoon. Weekends mean more serious practice as he plays 18-hole with his father.
“It feels great playing with him because you learn a lot of stuff, a lot of style in golf, and lessons,” added Bagtas.
“He tells me not to have a hot head during plays because golf is really a stressful game. And he also tells me that I should just focus on my game and don’t mind others. My game gets good when I apply those,” Bagtas said.
Bagtas’ dream is to become a PGA player and to win his first golf championship in the United States.
“My parents always tell me that I need to go to America so I can continue my golf. I also want to be an international player or a PGA player someday because it’s my parents’ dream also,” he added.
Bagtas named Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods as his role models.
“I am amazed by Woods’ swing and his passion for winning tournaments while I like McIlroy’s aggressiveness every time he plays golf and that’s what I’m trying to copy.”
Bagtas recently competed in the 71st PAL Interclub Golf Tournament men’s regular division and was a member of the Luisita Golf and Country Club team that finished second to champion Manila Southwoods.
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WHAT’S IN THE BAG
LEANDRO LUIS BAGTAS
Fairway woods: TaylorMade M3 and Titleist 915h
Irons: Srixon 965
Wedges: Nike SV and Titleist Vokey
Putter: TaylorMade Spider
Ball: Titleist Pro V1X