The Philippines scored big in Thailand as it romped away with individual and team titles in the premiere boys 15-18 Division of the 10th SINGHA Thailand Junior World Golf Championship last November 1 to 4 at the Royal Hua Hin Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Luis Castro punched the best score during the first day with a one-under par 71 to kick-off his wire-to-wire victory, finishing with a four-day total of seven-over par 295 and led by five strokes off second placer and teammate Aidric Chan. The Philippines swept the event with Paolo Wong finishing third with four strokes behind.
Castro birdied the very first hole of the tournament and from that point on never relinquished the lead. He posted a two-stroke lead over Supaket Selangee after the first two days of action then slowly distanced himself from the field with a five-stroke lead after the third day despite a 76. His 74 on the last day was enough to hold off Chan as the Thai bets faded under the superb shot making of the Filipinos.
Chan banked on his strong second day with a tournament best 72 eclipsing his disastrous 78 on the first day. Wong played steady throughout with a tournament best of 14 birdies to frustrate the challenges of the hosts.
The Philippines compounded the local bets’ misery as the team of Chan and Carl Corpus nullified an almost insurmountable lead by the Thais as they scored the best last day turn around in tournament’s history crawling out of a nine-stroke deficit.
Trailing 461 to 452 on the last day, Chan notched a one-over par 73 complemented by Corpus’ two-over par 74 to edge out the Thai duo of Selangae and Denvid David Boribunsoob 608 to 609. The Ateneo Grade 11 students who won the title in 2016, beamed with pride as they take home back-to-back team titles.
Meanwhile, Sofia Chabon finished fifth in the Girls 15-18 Division with a 23 over 312 in four days of competition.
It was the best performance of a Philippine boys’ team in Thailand in recent memory. The triumph eased the sting of recent close calls against the Thais in the South East Asian Games, the Putra Cup and the 2017 Asian Junior Team Championship.
The win is a great morale booster to Castro, Chan and Wong as well as another junior player Tyler Po that are set to spearhead the national men’s team campaign in this year’s Nomura Cup, and the Asian Men’s Team Championship.