TRECE Martirez, Cavite—National Golf Association of the Philippines president Tommy Manotoc is convinced he has the right recruits in the country’s bid to regain the Philippines Southeast Asia’s official golf team championship title late this month.
After watching the action in the PH Amateur Closed championship in the first two rounds, Manotoc, a veteran of many Putra Cup wars in the past, said the current set of young Putra Cuppers have shown a lot of promise and potential.
“I’m excited seeing these kids play. They can really play,” Manotoc said after all four players—including two Fil-American recruits—occupied the top four positions in the PH Am.
“We have a solid team,” Manotoc, who was part of so many Putra Cup victories along with the late, amateur great Golem Silverio, added. “Recruiting these guys was a long process, but it’s worth it.”
Rico Hoey, a 17-year-old who was pursued by the University of Southern California, and 19-year-old Jonathan delos Reyes, sons of Filipino parents now based in the United States, are making waves at Sherwood Hills here together with homegrown bets Rupert Zaragosa and Jobim Carlos.
In yesterday’s second round of the PH Am, the quartet, under the Putra Cup format, would have scored a combined six-under-par 210 with the cards of Zaragosa (69), Hoey (71) and Carlos (70) counting for the team score. Only the 77 of Delos Reyes would have been thrown away in team play.
“That’s a very solid score,” Manotoc said. “That could stand as the best score on any day.”
The Philippines used to lord it over in the Putra Cup, especially in the 1970s and the 1980s, before its Southeast Asian neighbors caught up. The last time the country won the crown was in 1996 in Myanmar.
Manotoc believes that the country has waited long enough, and now has the tools to end the drought. Musong R. Castillo