Sajulga snares crown; Harmie triumphs

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Harmie Constantino hits a superb bunker shot. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Harmie Constantino hits a superb bunker shot. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jets Sajulga gunned down a late eagle then pounced on Aniceto Mandanas’ foldup to snatch the NGAP Northern Luzon Regional Golf Championship crown on a closing 70 while Harmie Constantino cruised to a nine-shot romp in women’s play despite a 77 at the Beverly Place Golf Club in Pampanga on Saturday.

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Sajulga charged back from four shots down with five holes to go with an eagle on the par-5 14th to spike a 35-35 card then watched Mandanas crumble under pressure, dropping four strokes in the last three holes, enabling the rising star from Del Monte to complete a thrilling come-from-behind two-shot victory with an even 213 aggregate.

It was a big win for Sajulga, who pulled to within one off Mandanas with a 68 in the second round but fell by four after the latter posted a two-under card after 13 holes in the final round of the 54-hole championship sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and MPIC.

But the erstwhile leader succumbed to pressure after Sajulga nailed that eagle to move within two again and Mandanas blew it all with bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 and a double bogey on the closing par-5 hole. He limped with a 41 after a 32, his 73 dropping him instead to second at 215.

Rupert Zaragosa finally hit his stride after a so-so 78 and 73 in the first two days, firing a three-under 68 to share third place with Aidric Chan, who carded a 73, at 219 while Jolo Magcalayo placed fifth at 225 after a 74.

Korean Seung Hyeon Back and Gab Manotoc hobbled with identical 76s while Richnell Albano skied to an 81 as they finished tied for sixth at 230.

Constantino, meanwhile, posted her worst round in three days but her 38-39 output still netted her a whopping nine-stroke romp over Kristine Torralba on a 224 total, that included a 72 and 75.

Torralba turned in a 73 for a 233 while Nicole Abelar shot a 78 for 238 and finished third in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour.

August Cruz shot a 76 for a 235 to emerge the low gross champion in the men’s Group I with Alan Alegre nipping Francis Telan in the countback for runner-up honors after the duo ended up with 238s after identical 79s.

Telan, an 11-handicapper, took the net championship with a 216.

Ricardo Loyola took the men’s Group II diadem with a 249 after an 82 with Alain Canapi also carding an 82 for second at 253 while Jere Fregil, toting a 13 handicap, bagged the net crown with a 216.

Cielo Fregil, a 14 handicapper, shared the spotlight as she captured the Ladies Handicap Open division crown with a net 207 after a 69, repulsing Sam Dizon, a 9-handicapper, who finished with a 210 after a 71. Korean Kwon Tae Yon had a 228 after a 76.

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