Tonito Payumo carded a 295 aggregate to lead by four stokes over first-runner up Petr Bilek of Czech Republic to take away the crown in Division 1 of the 2017 World Amateur Golfers Invitational (WAGI) last November 18 to 25 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The First Gen Corporation executive posted a four-day score of 74, 70, 70, 81, to beat Bilek (299) and fellow Filipino Oliver Gan (300).
“Obviously, it was a great feeling. I wasn’t really trying to win during the competition. I was just trying to stick to my routine and focus on the target all throughout the four days,” said Payumo in an interview with The Manila Times.
“The feeling of wearing the Philippine flag going up to the stage and bringing honor to your country gives me goose bumps,” added Payumo, who was once the No.1 ranked junior tennis player in the Philippines before shifting to golf.
Mabel Salivio, meanwhile, had a 293 aggregate to finish third in Division 3 (handicap 11-15) of the World Amateur Golfers Championship (WAGC), the centerpiece event of the 72-hole tournament, which was played on four courses including The Mines Resort & Golf Club, Kota Permai Golf & Country Club, Sungai Long Golf & Country Club, and Templar Park Country Club.
A first timer in the competition, the Philippines among 38 countries, made its presence felt by finishing seventh in scoring points in the WAGC category while the two-man team of Payumo and Gan finished sixth out of 74 teams.
The Philippine team was led by skipper Errol Chua with Edward Co as co-captain.
Team Philippines also won the 2017 Tumba Trophy.
Named after the late WGAC founder Sven Tumba, the Tumba Trophy is given every year to the country that embodies Tumba’s overall vision, which is “sport promotes friendship and business”.
The World Amateur Golfers Championship and Invitational is the largest amateur golf tournament in the World and has been commemorated 22 times in numerous countries from around the globe.
Thirty-eight countries and over 330 golfers around the world were in attendance.
Chua said there would be over 15 local qualifiers and a two-day National Finals next year to determine the team that will be sent to the World Amateur Golfers Championship in Johor, Malaysia.
The team was backed by Sta. Lucia Land Inc. as the title sponsor and Philippine Airlines as official airline partner.
TEAM PHILIPPINES PERFORMANCE:
World Amateur Golfers Championship
Div 1 (0-5 HCP) – Gerald Katigbak (Riviera Golf Club), 5th place (298 aggregate)
Div 2 (6-10 HCP) – Augusto Cruz (Beverly Place Golf), 6th place (305 aggregate)
Div 3 (11-15 HCP) – Mabel Salivio (Camp Aguinaldo Golf), 3rd place (293 aggregate)
Div 4 (16-20 HCP) – Marc Leviste (Summit Point Golf), 7th place (305 aggregate)
Div 5 (21-25 HCP) – Alfredo Abarintos (Mt. Malarayat Golf), 11th place (305 aggregate)
World Amateur Golfers Invitational
Div 1 (0-5 HCP) – Tonito Payumo (The Orchard Golf/ Manila Golf Club/ Anvaya Golf Club), 1st place (295 aggregate)
Div 1 (0-5 HCP) – Oliver Gan (Wack Wack Golf and CC), 3rd place (300 aggregate)
Div 1 (0-5 HCP) – Don Padilla (Forest Hills Golf), 5th place (304 aggregate)
Division 2 (6-10) – Mickey Tan (Sta. Lucia), 6th place (305 aggregate)
Div 4 (16-20 HCP) – Francis Talion (Ayala Greenfield Golf), 11th place (328 aggregate)
Div 5 (21-25 HCP) – Errol Chua (GolfPH), 8th place (325 aggregate)