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Forty-three junior golfers earned their berth to the prestigious IMG Academy Junior World Championship after topping the Philippine qualifying tournament last February 23 to 25 at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club, and the Riviera Sports Club in Cavite.

The three-day qualifying event saw more than 130 junior golfers of different skill levels vie for the coveted slots.

Luigi Paolo Wong and Lorenz Kayla Nocum topped the 15-18 division and will lead the charge for the Philippine team.

Wong finished with 219-aggregate followed by Sean Jean Ramos (228), Josh Jorge (232), and Jacob Rolida (235) in the boy’s side.

Nocum scored a 234 to best the girl’s side including Maria Rafaela Singson (239), Nicole Abelar (242) and Sofia Chabon (242).

On the other hand, qualifiers in the 13-14 boy’s division are Miguel Ilas (226), Jet Hernandez (231), Francis Andre Lanuza (235), and Santino Diokno (244).

Eagle Ace Superal sizzled with 231 in the girl’s side, leading by seven strokes against Burberry Zhang (238). Juliane Margeth Borlongan came in at third with 248 and Kiara Therese Montebon at fourth with 262.

Miko Granda scored a 240 to claim the boy’s 11-12 honors along with three other qualifiers including Santino Pineda (249), Vince Jacob Tiamsic (249), and Matthew Miguel Fabiala (255).

Jungolfers advancing to the next phase of competition in the girl’s 11-12 include Rianne Mikhaela Malixi (231), Grace Pauline Quintanilla (237), Alethea Page Gaccion (240), and Abby Abarcas (247).

The 9-10 division, meanwhile, was dominated by Stevie Umali (232), Venice Kirsten Tiamsic (235), Celine Abalos (242), and Alessandra Luciano (272) in the girl’s side while qualifiers in the boy’s division are Marc Kristoffer Nadales (249), Luis Ballesteros (252), Armand Copok (266), and Scott Nicholas Ng (269).

Other qualifies are Kyle Ng with 206 (boy’s 7-8), Andres Soliman Dancel with 212 (boy’s 7-8), Inno Miguel Flores with 225 (boy’s 7-8), Vito Sarines with 180 (boy’s 6-under), Chan Ahn with 200 (boy’s 6-under), and Lucas Miguel Garcia with 281 (boy’s 6-under).

Completing the forty-three players are Mona Sarines with 195 (girl’s 7-8), Francesca Nicole Gan with 198 (girl’s 7-8), Precios Elizabeth Zaragosa with 219 (girl’s 7-8), and Elena Katelyn Lanuza with 277 (girl’s 6-under).

After placing fourth in last year’s championship, Lisa Sarines is already seeded to the upcoming tournament, thus, opening a slot to fill in the 7-8 girl’s division.

The IMG Academy Junior World Championships is set from July 8 to 12 in San Diego, California.

The top player of each division will receive complimentary tickets from Philippine Airlines, the official carrier of the Philippine Team.

Ayala Land backed the qualifying tournament together with Summit Ridge Tagaytay as the official hotel partner.

Among the previous Filipino world champions in the tournament were Tom Concon, Ramon Brobio, Carito Villaroman, Jennifer Rosales, Carmelette Villaroman, Cosco Oben, Pauline del Rosario, Daniella Uy, Kristoffer Arevalo, Jed Dy, and Bernice Ilas .

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