CAGAYAN DE ORO — Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines president Oliver Gan on Friday said he was overwhelmed by the huge turnout in the Pueblo de Oro Junior Open that kicks off Saturday.
“This goes to show that young golfers are excited to play — especially golfers from the region. That means Mindanao is really a hotbed for talented young golfers,” said Gan, who expressed his gratitude to Pueblo Golf council member Ronnie Canlas and general manager Gilby Velez for making the event possible.
A total of 150 golfers will tee off in the second part of the Mindanao leg of the JGFP.
The event comes after a successful tournament in Davao City at Apo Golf last 8 January — part of the JGFP’s mission to discover new talents from Mindanao region.
Mindanao has produced many elite golfers, including legend Frankie Minoza, Tony Lascuna, Cassius Casas, Elmer Salvador, Elmer Saban, Jay Bayron, Jhonnel Ababa, and rising amateur star Edison Tabalin.
The event, supported by John Gaisano, Gaisano Malls, Islandwide Distribution Corp. and Pueblo Golf, will have boys and girls competitions in the 6-under, 7-8 years old, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18. A special division will also be played for the 19-21 golfers.
Participants in the 12 and above bracket will also earn ranking points from the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Under WAGR, they already started Friday for the required three-day meet.
Previous champions from the Davao leg will likewise see action here, including Manila-based golfers Nicole and Stephanie Gan, and Lucas de Guzman, Mindanao’s Jared Saban, Athena Batican, Alonzo Retuerto, Brittany Pauline Tamayo, Zerto Plete, Cody John Langamin, Althea Paige Gaccion, Aldrein Gialon and John Canlas.