Abdon, Ardina nail it
Overwhelm rivals with similar 4&3 victoriesBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
TRECE Martirez, Cavite—Jik-Jik Abdon finally broke through in the open ranks yesterday, ripping Andres Saldaña, 4 and 3, to capture the Philippine Amateur Closed championship at the windswept Sherwood Hills course here.
Playing steadily in the stifling heat, Abdon took a 2-up lead after six holes and kept control the rest of the way, closing out the match and sealing the biggest win of his career with a routine par on the short par-5 15th.
“I feel so happy, especially after the heartbreak I endured (in finishing second) last year,” the 20-year-old told the Inquirer. “It feels great to finally win.”
Sharing the spotlight with Abdon were Dottie Ardina and Raymond Bunquin, the host club manager who pounded out a 4-and-2 victory over the veteran Jingy Tuazon for the mid-amateur crown.
Ardina was also in complete control and posted a similar 4-and-3 romp over Jayvie Agojo as the top seeds in both divisions played according to expectations in the event serving as the third leg of the Globe-NGAP circuit and backed by Pancake House, Golf Depot, Suntrust Properties, Microtel, Titleist and Empire Golf.
“I just felt comfortable all round,” said Abdon, who had just two bogeys and a birdie on the 10th where he hit a sand wedge from 115 yards to within inches of the hole.
Saldaña didn’t help his cause after hitting a birdie putt on the 12th way short which would have put the left-handed standout from Alabang Golf Club within one again.
Luisita standout Lino Magpantay nipped Kinitchi Kitamura on the second playoff hole to bag the seniors diadem and join the roster of winners in the awards rites presided over by NGAP president Tommy Manotoc, lawyer Harry Paltongan, president of new Sherwood club owner Suntrust Properties, Inc.; and Bunquin.
Ardina started birdie-par-birdie to go 3-up and take the fight out of the returning Agojo.
It was Ardina’s third victory in two months counting her triumph in the DHL Open Championship and in Kuala Lumpur. She defends her Queen Sirikit title in Singapore next week.
Meanwhile, the NGAP will also hold the Visayas and Mindanao regionals and the national boys and doubles championships and the junior amateur open.