WITH the way the Putra Cup team members played in the recent Philippine Amateur Closed championship, it seems that the country has a solid shot at regaining lost glory in Southeast Asia’s official team golf event.
The four members of the squad team copped the top four places in the recent tournament, with Rupert Zaragosa bagging the title by eight strokes over teammate Rico Hoey, giving rise to hope that the Philippines could end a 17-year drought next week.
“That’s quite a long time,” said Hoey of the drought. Hoey started playing at the age of five when his family was still a member at Wack Wack. “It’s time that we end that spell.”
The Putra Cup is a four-to-play, three-to-count tournament and the Filipinos will have the benefit of knowing the tournament course well, having played official tournaments and holding practices at wind-swept Sherwood Hills in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Zaragosa broke par in all four rounds of the Philippine Amateur, highlighted by a sterling six-under-par 66 in Day 3. Hoey, the 17-year-old recruit from the United States, didn’t return a score higher than level par. Jobim Carlos and Jonathan Delos Reyes also showed they could both go low.
Hoey and Delos Reyes were discovered and recruited from schools in the US by NGAP president Tommy Manotoc.
“It would be a nice homecoming for us, as we get to meet our relatives and play for the country,” Delos Reyes said. “We’re all excited.”
The Putra Cup will be held starting June 27 and Thailand is the defending champion.