Langamin pulls off shocker
NOEL LANGAMIN shocked Rupert Zaragosa with a dominant start then warded off his fancied rival’s charge with clutch iron shots in afternoon play as he captured the 2016 Philippine Amateur Open Match Play Championship crown with a 3&2 victory at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Dasmariñas, Cavite, yesterday.
Langamin sustained top form coming off a 3&2 romp over Japanese Yuto Katsuragawa in the semis on Thursday, while pouncing on Zaragosa’s sputtering start to go 6-up in the first half of their marathon 36-hole finale.
The Del Monte ace, 26, wavered a bit at resumption but held sway at the backside with superb iron game and gutsy pars to foil his multititled rival, who came into the title duel looking for a follow-up to his victory in the first MVPSF Visayas Regional Match Play in Cebu three weeks ago.
“This is my biggest win since helping Del Monte win the PAL Interclub crown [in 2011],” said Langamin, who turned in a mediocre 10th-place finish in the 36-hole stroke-play elims then hacked out back-to-back 3&2 wins over Bobby Celestino and Jelbert Gamolo in the knockout phase before edging second seed Tom Kim of Korea, 1-up, in the quarters.
Korean Hwang Min-jeong, likewise, kept the momentum of a solid start, going 2-up after 18 holes in her title clash with Diana Araneta then unleashing a stronger finishing kick to fashion out a 4&2 win in the women’s side of the country’s premier match-play event.