This Manotoc is blazing his own trail on the course
HANOI—National golf team first-timer Gab Manotoc was raised by his parents in a manner that veered from traditional ways.
He wasn’t fed with formula milk—not even a single drop—and lived on an organic vegetable diet until he became a teenager. He also didn’t go to a big school like what most of his friends went to.
There was one family tradition, however, that had to be followed: golf.
With both his parents considered as household names in Philippine golf, it was imperative that Gab live a golfing life, a big part of it spent at Calatagan Golf Club when his father Tommy worked as general manager for a number of years.
Tommy, one of the best amateurs the country has ever had, can easily make the list of local golfing legends even if he never turned pro. Gab’s mom, the former Yvette de Leon, had a short-lived amateur career that was laced with major achievements like winning the Philippine Ladies Open and yes, even a Southeast Asian Games gold medal.
Yvette was part of the trio that pulled off the first golf gold medal sweep by the Philippines 33 years ago in Indonesia. She was in that team together with Sylvia Torres and Ruby Chico, who would also win the individual event.
And just for that, Yvette and Gab might have made history as the first mother and son to have played in the national golf team, and the SEA Games for that matter.
“We’ve always been close as a family, so my support system is very strong,” said Gab, who just graduated from the Academy of Arts University in San Francisco with a degree in communication arts.
That support system includes five half siblings, one of whom is Matthew, another former PH Team mainstay who has just been re-elected governor of Ilocos Norte.
“We still play golf if we find the time, they come to our Alabang home just to hang once in a while.”
Gab thinks that he still needs to work on a few things on his game before he turns pro, if ever becoming the first son of Tommy to graduate from the amateur ranks.
But with very supportive parents who have been with him all the way ever since he first got hold of a golf club when he was five, Gab knows there’s a gamut of opportunities to help him approximate the success they’ve achieved out of their passion for the game of golf.
As the saying goes, the fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
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