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Sarines pulls off squeaker vs Zaragosa in JPGT Sta. Elena

Mona Sarines outdueled Precious Zaragosa in a gripping duel of skills and nerves, topping the putting challenge while finishing second both in chipping and driving to claim the top honors in the girls' 11-12 category of the Junior PGT 2023 Series at the Sta. Elena Golf and Country Club in Laguna on Sunday.

Siblings Vito and Mona Sarines, (second and third from left, respectively) hold their medals as they pose with fellow age-group winners (from left) Makayla Verano, Roman Ungco and Maria Angelica Bañez. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Playing in such kind of skills contest for the first time, Sarines proved up to the task, pooling 115 points, including 55, 32 and 28 points in putting, chipping and driving, respectively, as she edged Zaragosa, who assembled 113 points on a top finish in driving (46), and runner-up and third place efforts in putting (46) and chipping (21).

Tiffany Bernardino scored 91 points, including a top-scoring 36 points in chipping, to place third in Round 4 of the series organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“It was our first experience being in a drive, chip and putt competition, speaking for myself and my three junior golfer kids (Mona, Lisa and Vito),” said Arminda Sarines. “Being used to the usual 18-hole tournament (and the US College Golf 36-hole rounds), this DCP provides a different twist – it is not only fun but also exciting, or as the kids would describe as 'exhilarating.'”

“The energy was so welcoming, everyone was focused on the specific golf task. And the rewarding outcome after the game was all the kids were happily playing with each other, running around and being kids again,” she added.

Roman Ungco emerged No. 1 in driving. (43 points), wound up second in chipping (40) and placed third in putting (36) as he took the boys' 11-12 trophy with 119 points in a big follow-up to his victory in the 18-hole stroke play format at Valley Golf last month.

Aenzo Sulaik ruled the chipping challenge (50 points) and came in second in putting (37) to finish behind Ungco with 104 points while Javier Bautista put in an 83-point output for third after sharing the top spot with Lujo Gomez in putting (40 points) and winding up third in driving (32).

Sharing the spotlight in the one-day tournament sponsored by ICTSI as part of its commitment to enhance junior golf are girls' and boys' 9-10 age group winners Makayla Verano and Vito Sarines, respectively, and Maria Angelica Bañez, who ran away with the girls' 15-18 diadem with 116 points against Korean Ji Won Lee's 81-point output.

Verano finished on top in putting (51 points), placed second in driving (28) and shared third place with Quincy Pilac in chipping (21) as she scored 100 points, five points clear of Pilac, who tied for first with Maurysse Abalos in driving (34) and posted a runner-up finish in putting (40) for 95 points.

Abalos, who also emerged solo winner in chipping (27), placed third with 81 points.

Vito Sarines, on the other hand, ruled the driving challenge (56 points) and shared second place with Jose Luis Espinosa in chipping (45) as he racked up 126 points for a 23-point romp over Espinosa, who dominated the putting contest (35) and ended up with 103 points.

Race Manhit, who topped the skills challenge at Mt. Malarayat last June, settled for third with 98 points on a runner-up finish in driving (43) and a third place effort in chipping (35).

Meanwhile, the course-hopping series heads back to Mount Malarayat in Lipa City next Monday (Aug. 28) with action shifting to 18-hole stroke play for boys' and girls' 9-12 and girls' 13-14 age categories while Taal Splendido will host the series for the first time on Sept. 17 for boys and girls' 15-18 division and boys' 13-14 class to be played under the 18-hole stroke play format.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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