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Arellano, Malawanda top Saudi event

The usual suspects led by veteran Alex Arellano shared honors at the Felipe Cortejos ma’salama (farewell) and Filipino Golf Association yearend tournament.

The 18-hole full handicap stroke play 2-in-1 event was held on Friday at the Nofa Golf Resort on the outskirts of Riyadh. Twenty-six players enjoyed a day out on the course in pleasantly cool weather.

Arellano, who will travel to Manila in February for the PAL Interclub Golf Tournament as a member of one of the two FGA teams entered, won Class A (0-10 handicap) with a net score of 73. Luke Lacaden was first runner-up on 80 and Louis Mapanzuri second runner-up on 83.

Alan Malawanda emerged Class B (11-20) champion after shooting 72 with Jeffrey Arellano first runner-up on 80 and Willy Tamonte second runner-up on 82.

Winning the Class C (-21-28) title was Eufemio Baracoso who shot 80. Robert Fernandez was four strokes back in second place followed by Doy Vicera who rounded out the first three winners on 86.

The skill prizes for longest drive (300 yards) went to Lacaden, nearest to the pin No. 12 to Mario Vera Cruz and nearest to the pin No. 6 to Alex.

Noel Alipoyo, aka Sandtrapz, in his first tournament golf after a double bypass heart operation, emceed the prize distribution ceremony where bank executive Cortejos thanked the FGA, led by president Gerry Almazan, for organizing the event in his honor. Cortejos was presented with a plaque of appreciation and mementoes by the FGA.

One of the pillars and steadfast supporters of the FGA, Cortejos will be leaving the Kingdom on exit-only visa next month, after a long innings of 40 years in Saudi Arabia. Cortejos was last employed as chief risk officer at Alinma Bank.

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