Rupert Zaragosa announced his return to peak form Saturday by ripping Basti Lorenzo, 6&5, to repeat as the NGAP-Globe circuit’s Philippine Junior Amateur (Closed) champion at the exclusive Alabang layout in Muntinlupa.
With a well-rounded game, Zaragosa attacked the pins with reckless abandon and raced to a 2-up lead after the ﬁrst nine holes before continuing to pour on the heat coming home to post the lopsided win over the top-seeded Lorenzo.
From being 1-down after Lorenzo birdied the third, Zaragosa won the fifth, a par-5 hole which Lorenzo bogeyed, before winning the seventh with a birdie of his own to set the tone of the rout and eventually win the centrepiece event of the tournament backed by Pancake House, Titleist and Golf Depot.
Zaragosa then completely knocked down Lorenzo’s sails with a birdie on the 10th and 12th holes for a 4-up lead to cruise the rest of the way even as Kristoffer Arevalo ruled boy’s Group 2 with as 2&1 victory over Christopher Popp.
It was a great victory for Zaragosa, for not only did he win the ﬁrst two editions of the event, but it also conﬁrmed that he has now fully recovered from a drink poisoning early in the year which, more than anything, put his future in the sport at risk.
Because of the poisoning that had Zaragosa hospitalized for close to a month, the pintsized wonder out of Canlubang missed out in playing in the qualifying tournament for the Callaway Junior World Championships in San Diego.
Top-ranked Mia Legaspi was also dominating in girl’s Group 1 ﬁnals against Daniella Uy, posting a 4&3 win even as Pauleen del Rosario pounded out a 3&2 win over Bernice Ilas in Group 2 action.