Celestino rules Philex NL regional golf by 2 strokes
BAGUIO—Lawrence Celestino fended off Lloyd Jefferson Go’s rally coming home with clutch putts for a five-over-par 66 and seal a two-shot victory in the Philex Northern Luzon Regional Championships at the Baguio Golf and Country Club here yesterday.
Celestino, who surged ahead by two after two rounds and went four up at the turn, birdied No. 13 to hold off Go, then parred four of the last five holes to match his rival’s closing 66 for a 54-hole aggregate of 194.
Go moved within one at the back nine twice, the last at No. 17 with a par against Celestino’s bogey. He went for broke in the final hole but ended up with a bogey and a 196 total in the event presented by top mining corporation Philex and sponsored by Pancake House, Titleist by Empire Golf, Pacsports and Golf Depot.
Gabriel Manotoc, the 15-year-old son of former national team mainstay and now NGAP president Tommy, wavered with three bogeys at the shorter but tougher backside of the BGCC to end up with a 31 and a 67 for third place at 197.
Manotoc sparked hopes of a breakthrough win in a men’s tournament when he joined Go in second place heading to the final 18 holes with a pair of 65s.
United States-based jungolfers RJ Talud and Raymond Gonzales Jr. took the next two spots with a 200 and 204, respectively, after identical 68s while Jan Philippe De Claro shot the tournament-best 62 for 205 to finish sixth in the tournament sanctioned by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and served as part of the Globe Amateur Golf Circuit.
Daniella Uy dominated the ladies’ side as she matched par 61 for a 36-hole total of 129, 11 shots ahead of Bianca Pagdanganan (67-140). Dana Gonzales (73-145) wound up third in the event held as part of the birth centenary of BGCC founder Nanoy Ilusorio.
Felix Pascual fired a 66 and ran away with the Mid-Amateur crown with a 36-hole total of 132. Manny Solis (71-139) and Rafael Ding (74-144) took the next two spots.
Fred Puckett cruised to the Seniors title with a 136 after a 66 for a 22-stroke win over Mariano Ang, who had an 80 for a 158. Johnny Fagyan (94-184) placed third.