DANIELLA Uy came from behind with a four-under-par 68 then beat Ziyi Wang of China in a sudden-death playoff for the girls’ 15-17 years crown in the Callaway Junior World golf championships at the Torrey Pines North course on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Uy had virtually given up the fight when she fell behind by five strokes and still four behind going to the six holes. Then things “got crazy.”
The 5-foot-6 Uy went three under in that stretch on an assortment of birdies against a bogey including a five-foot birdie on the 72nd and final hole to forge a playoff then survived a nerve-wracking playoff with Wang where she buried a 10-footer for birdie on their return trip to the 18th hole that rewarded her with the biggest title of her career.
Uy, set to join the Gonzaga State University in Washington this September, and Wang, who shot a 67, both finished regulation play at 280.
“This is just so awesome, I really didn’t expect it,” said Uy, who pulled off the victory barely a year after finishing second to a Filipino-American in the same division also at Torrey Pines last year.
Princess Superal, meanwhile, carded a second straight 70 to salvage a tie for 10th place with a 285 aggregate. Miya Legaspi share 15th with her 74-289 while Pauline del Rosario came all from near the bottom of the surviving pack with a five-under 67 capped by a last-hole eagle to finish tied for 19th.
Uy’s victory came 18 years after homegrown player Jennifer Rosales last won and 16 years since Filipino-American Dorothy Delasin raised the trophy.
Uy started her rally with birdie from 16 feet on the 12th hole and then on the 14th, she rammed home another 32-footer for birdie that got her so fired up that she buried another from 16 feet on the next hole. She bogeyed the next hole after missing the green before knocking in the final hole birdie.
While Uy went on a rampage, three-day leader Benyapa Nip–hatsophon of Thailand went on a disastrous windup of four bogeys and two birdies and even missed missed joining the playoff by a stroke 74-281. Her third round co-leader, Minami Hiruta of Japan, did even worse as she bogeyed the last three holes for a similar 74 and 281.
“That was just crazy stretch, I believe I couldn’t have won if not for that long birdie on the 14th,” said Uy. “I’m also happy that I won with my family around me, my mom, my dad and my brother.”
On Thursday, Jed Dy settled for second after he lost by a stroke to Japanese-American Testuki Nemoto in the boys 9-10 years play at Lawrence Welk Resort Fountain course that proved to be the best finish for those in the lower divisions.