Ababa, Uy OOM winners in pro tour

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Local golf continued its upward trajectory in post-pandemic, seamlessly transitioning from last year with a flourish of 10 tournaments in both the Philippine Golf Tour and the Ladies PGT. And a shift from stroe play competitions to the match play format provided a fitting conclusion to an intense. competitive season.

With eight different winners in the men’s tour and seven in the distaff side, seasoned campaigners showcased their prowess over the emerging talents, including a couple of top amateurs in the LPGT. The diversity of winners reflected the level playing field in both circuits, debunking the notion that golf is exclusively a young man’s game influenced by technology.

Jhonnel Ababa and Daniella Uy emerged triumphant in the Order of Merit derby, underscoring that, amidst the club-hopping season at the country’s various championship courses, success still hinges on hard work, discipline and a positive mindset.

Ababa, a multi-titled campaigner, clinched his first OOM title after a stellar campaign. His victory at the Philippine Masters, where he edged out 2023 top player Guido van der Valk and Joenard Rates by one at Villamor, and his five-stroke romp over Michael Bibat and Dino Villanueva in the season-ending Mimosa Plus Championship in Pampanga, solidified his top position with total winnings of P1,499,825.

The former national team standout outpaced four-time OOM winner and Caliraya Springs leg titlist Tony Lascuña, who banked P1,325,196, and two-leg champion (Forest Hills and Del Monte) Clyde Mondilla, who pocketed P1,305,250, to claim the coveted title.

“I want to thank God for all the blessings he has bestowed on me,” said Ababa. “Winning the OOM title for the first time did have a great impact on my career. I didn‘t expect it but it will boost my confidence for next season.”

Reflecting on his performance, Ababa appreciated the highs and lows of a highly competitive season, emphasizing moments of outstanding play while acknowledging challenges in the course of his campaign.

The other PGT leg winners were Ira Alido (Negros), Rupert Zaragosa (Iloilo), Reymon Jaraula (Valley) and Justin Quiban (South Pacific).

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