By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
With very little rest coming from the 20th WWWExpress-DHL RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship in Canlubang, Laguna, 15-year-old Weiwei Gao shook off lack of sleep and successfully defended his class A title in the Alta Vista Golf and Country Club Tournament of Aces last weekend.
Gao defeated Korean Kim Kwang Seok in their 36-hole final match, 7-up with 5 holes to go.
The young Gao, who played four straight rounds in the event in Canlubang where he finished in the top ten, came out storming on the first 18 holes with an 8-up advantage going to the break. With fatigue slowly setting in on the second round, Kim nipped two off the lead of Gao on the 20th and 21st holes, but birdies on the par-3 24th and 26th holes gave Gao back his sizeable advantage.
Kim once again came up big on the 29th and 30th holes, but a birdie on the 31st (Hole No. 13) gave Gao the title.
In class B, Ferdinand Chua fought tooth and nail with Kim Tae Hwan and their match was tied after the first 18 holes.
After 27 holes, Chua went 3-up and never looked back from there. Already dormie going to the 34th hole (No. 16), Chua made par on the uphill par-5 hole while Kim settled for a bogey to hand the former the victory.
In class C, Dr. Albert Solis, a diehard triathlon enthusiast, needed more than two more hours than his best in a half-ironman to beat the tough Sergio ‘Boy’ Gonzalez in their final match, 3 and 1.
Solis was only one hole up after 18 holes and then engaged Gonzalez, a former super seniors champion, in a see-saw battle to emerge victorious.
Junia Gabasa ruled the ladies division beating another young talent, Weifang Gao 12 and 11.
Gabasa, 13 years old, ran roughshod over the 11-year-old Gao to take an 8-up advantage after 18 holes. Gabasa then won four more holes to end the match on the 25th hole despite a bogey on the par-5 hole.
Hospicio ‘Razy’ Razon won his fourth straight seniors’ division (55 to 69 years old) title with a 2 and 1 victory over Ramon Sebastian.
Razon, skipper of the Alta Vista seniors’ team to the Philippine Airlines (PAL) Interclub, was 2-up after nine holes of their battle scheduled for 18. Sebastian, the club treasurer and golf director, came back on the 10th then tied Razon on the 12th before taking a 1-up lead on the par-3 13th.
Things, however, changed on the 14th after Sebastian hooked his tee shot and Razon birdied the downhill par-4 to put the match back to all-square. A birdie on the 15th gave Razon the lead and there was no more looking back from there until he closed the match with a par on the 17th after Sebastian missed the green and settled for a bogey.
Rolly Santos made it back-to-back in the super seniors (70 years old and above) category by beating Korean Jack Lee, 7 and 6.
Lee, who was complaining of shoulder pain, quit at the start of the 12th hole.
The Tournament of Aces is the club’s annual championship. Only winners of club tournaments during the previous year can qualify for this event.