Agojo edges Tan, bags Santi Cup crown
JAKARTA – Jayvie Agojo primed up for her defense of the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open crown this week by winning the hotly disputed Santi Cup individual crown, closing out with a plucky one-under 71 and nipping Malaysian Kelly Tan in the countback at the Emeralda Golf Club here late Friday.
Agojo bucked a bogey mishap on the 16th with two tap-in par-putts in the closing holes in the second-to-last threesome then watched Tan flub a winning seven-foot par putt on the final hole to snatch the title that was up for grabs until after the Malaysian holed out with a 72.
“I just hung in there. I knew I had a chance despite my bogey on No. 16. I kept my focus and made pars in the end,” said Agojo, who moved into contention with a solid 69 in the third day then outdueled fellow ICTSI teammate Princess Superal majority of the final round before thwarting Tan and Thai Supamas Sangchan on the final hole.
Agojo, 26, and Tan finished with 289s but the top ICTSI bet took the crown outright with a better final round output. Sangchan also bogeyed the final hole and missed grabbing the crown with a 71 and a 290 in the ladies side of the Southeast Asian Amateur Golf Team Championships.
“It was a big morale boost for Jayvie going to the HK Open starting this Wednesday,” said ICTSI team coach Bong Lopez. “We were expecting a 1-2 finish but Princess lost her poise and struggled at the backside.”
Two shots behind erstwhile solo leader Superal at the start of the final round, Agojo tied her at the helm with a 35 at the turn. But while Agojo stayed on top with five straight pars and a 12-foot birdie on No. 15, Superal reeled back with bogeys on 11 and 14.
The 15-year-old Superal struck back with a birdie on the 16th but like Tan and Sangchan, who both birdied No. 17 to tie Agojo, she holed out with a bogey for a 75 and wound up fourth at 291.
Cyna Rodriguez rallied with two birdies in the last four holes to save a 74 as Team ICTSI-Philippines settled for second in team play with an 876 after a 220, five shots behind Thailand, which also made a 220 for an 871. The other member of the team was Sarah Ababa, who closed out with a 77.
Agojo’s victory also made up for Dottie Ardina’s setback in this event in Hong Kong last year where the ICTSI team spearhead blew a big lead in the final round and yielded the crown to Thai Pinrath Loonboomruang.
In the Lion City Cup, the national youth team of Lloyd Go, Gio Gandionco and JR Quiban finished third with a 910 after a 231 with Thailand posting a runaway victory with a 214 for an 870 and a 33-shot romp over Malaysia, which had a 903 after 223.
The men’s team of Rupert Zaragosa, Andres Saldana and Jobim Carlos wound up with sixth in a field of seven with a 909 after 222 in the Putra Cup won by Thailand which pooled an 854 after a 206 for a 13-shot win over Singapore, which made an 867 after 216.