Zaragosa wins by 8; De Guzman prevails

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WINNERS Rupert Zaragosa and Regina De Guzman hold the PH Amateur Closed trophy presented to them by NGAP president Tommy Manotoc (center) in yesterday’s awards rite. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

TRECE Martirez, Cavite—Rupert Zaragosa completed his domination of the Philippine Amateur Closed championship field by breaking par for the fourth straight day with a 1-under 71 to cap an eight-shot win over Rico Hoey at Sherwood Hills here.

The pint-sized 15-year-old, although outdriven all week, tallied a 72-hole 277 total over one of the most challenging layouts in the country and completed a “slam” of sorts by claiming all national titles—the men’s and boy’s match-play crown two years ago and the PH Am Junior Closed last week.

Hoey churned out a level 72, with Jobim Carlos shooting a day-best 67 to climb to solo third spot at 291, one shot ahead of Jonathan delos Reyes in the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation as part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.

Zaragosa, Hoey, Carlos and Delos Reyes will form the Philippine team seeking to win the Putra Cup championship for the first time in 17 years starting Thursday next week, also over the ravine-filled, well-manicured layout here.

“I am just so happy; I never thought that I could accomplish this feat this early in my career,” said Zaragosa, whose coach-father Boyet finished runner-up to Jerome Delariarte in the Philippine Amateur early in the 1990s.

“Winning one (national) title is hard enough. I am very blessed to now have won all of them,” added Zaragosa.

While Zaragosa won the men’s title of the event, also backed by Pancake House Nike, Golf Depot and Pacsports by going wire-to-wire, Regina De Guzman completed a fightback in the women’s side by closing out with a 68 for a 10-shot win over Bianca Pagdanganan.

De Guzman birdied three of her last four holes for a back-nine 32, leaving everyone behind with a 290 tally.

Pagdanganan, who started the day with a three-shot lead, ballooned to an unlikely 81 for 300, salvaging second place by two shots over Pauleen Del Rosario, who fired a 71.

Carlos, who had a roller-coaster tournament after rounds of 78, 70 and 76, had an eagle, four birdies and a bogey, while Delos Reyes made sure that all Putra Cup members occupied the final four places in the standings with another steady performance.

Zaragosa had two birdies and a bogey on his first nine holes before playing his final nine at even par after knocking down an eagle on the par-5 15th hole in the previous two rounds.

“I am excited to play with them (Hoey, Carlos and Delos Reyes) in the Putra Cup,” Zaragosa said. “I think we have a pretty good chance.”

The Philippines last hosted the Putra Cup in 2007 and won the event for the last time in 1996 in Myanmar.

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