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JPGT Splendido fires off, sets spotlight on young bets

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the scenic backdrop of Splendido Taal, anticipation crackles in the air as young golfers tee off Tuesday, May 14, in the kickoff leg of the 14-stage Junior Philippine Golf Tour.

Set at the hilly terrain of the Greg Norman-designed course in Laurel, Batangas, 62 hopefuls across three age categories embark on their quest for glory in 18-hole tournaments. Among them, 21 contenders in the 15-18 boys division gear up for a challenging four-round battle, while participants in the 8-10 and 11-14 category clash in their respective 36-hole and 54-hole competitions.

Leading the charge in the premier division is Patrick Tambalque, a standout from last year’s grand finals of the inaugural JPGT Series, alongside a formidable lineup, including Zachary Villaroman, Gabriel Handog and a host of other talented golfers.

The competition promises to be fierce with each player eager to claim not only leg honors but also bolster their respective bids for coveted sports in the upcoming Philippine Junior Match Play Championship at The Country Club in October.

In the girls’ division, Korean Ji Won Lee headlines the contenders, aiming to continue her dominance from last year’s series. However, challengers such as Rafa Anciano and Chloe Rada are poised to provide stiff competition.

Excitement is noticeable among the participants, with Javie Bautista expressing enthusiasm for the tour experience provided by the JPGT.

“I’m very excited about JPGT because of the unique tour experience it offers junior golfers. I anticipate that participating in JPGT events will cultivate a balance of competitiveness and enjoyment among us young golfers,” said Bautista, one of the contenders in the boys’ 11-14 class that also features Junior World-bound Vito Sarines, John Gomez and Jacob Casuga.

Adding to the thrill are rising talents like Enzo Corpus, Iñigo Camposano and Race Manhit, who are poised to spice up the title chase with their competitive spirit and skillful play.

As one of the youngest players in the group, Manhit is relying on his short game to make an impact. Despite his age, he’s eager to take on competitors in the 13-14 bracket, expressing confidence in his ability to