Alido, Saso thwart Koreans, clinch PH AM Open crowns
IRA Alido and Yuka Saso carved out contrasting victories yesterday to thwart South Korean bets in the 36-hole finals of the Philippine Amateur Open junior match play championship.
The second-seeded Alido used a blistering start to rip No. 1 Tom Kim, 9&7 in the boys’ finale, while Saso, a Filipino-Japanese, bested Hwang Min-jeong, 2-up, for the biggest wins of their young careers at posh Alabang Golf Club in Muntinlupa.
Taking the momentum of a 4&4 Final Four victory over Aniceto Mandanas on Friday into the morning 18, Alido outclassed Kim right from the get-go.
Alido’s victory also prevented Kim from holding both stroke and match play titles.
Saso, a Queen Sirikit Cup veteran, also took charge early, going 3-up after 18 holes but the 14-year-old playing out of Tagaytay Midlands needed to come up with pressure-packed shots at crunch time to pull out the win.
Saso came into the finals fresh from a 5&4 rout of Kristine Torralba in the semifinals while Hwang, who won a pro tournament on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour at Mt. Malarayat last year, struggled past last year’s winner Harmie Constantinto, snatching the win on the 19th hole. Musong R. Castillo