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Pinoy jungolfers set off for IMG Worlds

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF JGFP MEMBERS of the Philippine contingent including Nicole and Stephanie Gan, Allethea Gaccion and Bobe Salahog after a practice round in preparation for the 2023 IMG Academy Junior World Championships. With them are Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines president Oliver Gan, Johanna Gan, Perfecto Braga, Alfred Gaccion and coach Artemio Murakami.

Rianne Malixi, Jaden Dumdumaya and 46 other young golfers will aim for the top prize in their respective categories as they compete in the 2023 IMG Academy Junior World Championships this July.

Malixi, a member of the national women’s golf team, is coming off an impressive stint in the 18-hole US Women’s Amateur Qualifying Tournament at the Soule Park Golf Course in Ojai, California last Monday.

Aside from the 16-year-old Malixi, also seeing action in the 15-18 girls event are Monique Arroyo, Reese Ng, Allethea Gaccion, Grace Quintanilla and Anya Cedo on 11 to 14 July at Torrey Pines,

Dumdumaya will spearhead the country’s campaign in the boys 15-18 division at Torrey Pines. Also in the said category are Bobe Salahog, Santino Pineda, Jacob Cajita and Zachary Castro.

“We feel that with the roster we have right now, we feel that we have a strong chance of winning,” said Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines president Oliver Gan, a former golf consultant at the Games and Amusement Board under former chairman Baham Mitra.

“We know that it’s not going to be easy because the level of competition is very high… but we know our players are at par in terms of skills and talent, and they are prepared for the event,” added Gan, who has tapped former jungolf champion and Philippine Open winner Artemio Murakami as head coach of the Philippine contingent.

In the 13-14 category, the Philippines will be represented by Geoffrey Tan, Tristan Jefferson Padilla, Patrick Tambalque and Rafael Leonio in the boys, while in the girls are Celine Abalos, Alessandra Luciano, Tashanah Balangauan and Isabella Tabanas.

In the 11-12 boys are Ralph Rian Batican, Zianbeau Edoc, David Teves, Anton Zingapan and Mico Ungco, while in the 11-12 girls are Nicole Gan, Lisa Sarines, Precious Zaragosa, Brittany Tamayo and Mona Sarines.

The rest of the PH contingent are Vito Sarines, Race Phoenix Manhit, Chan Ahn, Jared Saban (9-10 boys), Cailey Chanelle Gonzales, Janae Galo, Aerin Chan, Rafella Adrienne Batican (9-10 girls), Alonzo Retuerto, Scott Dee, Kenji Yamada (7-8 boys), Kami del Mundo, Brie Macasaet, Eliana Mendoza (7-8 girls), Kenzo Tan, Zoji Edoc, Lucas De Guzman (6-under boys), Stephanie Gan and Winter Serapio (6-under girls).

The annual IMG meet will have the 6-under and 7-8 boys and girls divisions play at the Singing Hills Pine Glenn and Pine Oak courses at Sycuan Resort on 11 to 13 July in El Cajon, California.

The 11-12 divisions will be played at Heights Golf Course in San Diego, the 13-14 groups are set at Rancho Bernardo Heights also on 11 to 13 July.

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