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Almost identical shots win it for Forest Hills champs

FRIENDSHIP is the key for Alfredo Repato Jr. (right) and Jonar Austria. photograph by Adrian Flores for the daily tribune

Alfredo Repato Jr. and Jonar Austria are long-time friends. But in the game of golf — like in other sports — being friends doesn’t translate to a winning partnership.

Theirs is an exception, though. On Tuesday, they won as partners in a big tournament that’s why this is memorable for them.

Even without lengthy discussion, Repato and Austria pulled off the win at Forest Hills over Antonio Lascuna-Martin Guiang via the latter’s pressure-packed putt in third playoff hole.

“It pays that you know each other for a long time,” said Repato, the pro golfer playing in the local tour.

“You’d know what each other is thinking even without speaking.”

Repato has never won a tournament in the PGT. His best finish was 16th in a regular leg.

Austria, on the other hand, is a class A amateur player.

He was part of the San Miguel team that won the Fil-Am Golf Invitational in Baguio before the pandemic.

He likes to compete but he seldom plays in a four-day tournament — especially without the use of a golf cart — because he says it’s too taxing for him physically.

Emotionally, though, he’s built tough. It was a thrilling finish at the tough Palmer course.

It was expected that Lascuna and Guiang would rally in the final round in the first playoff hole.

Lascuna was faced with a difficult approach shot after Guiang’s drive went into the rough.

But the veteran’s smarts came into play as he stroked it to perfection to land into the green.

However, his partner missed the birdie putt.

Meanwhile, Austria failed to capitalize and also missed his birdie putt.

In the second playoff hole it was Repato’s drive that landed in a deep rough on the left side of the fairway.

Lascuna and partner could not pull off the win after muffing their birdie chance.

In the third playoff hole, Repato’s approach almost landed in the same spot like the second playoff hole. And because they already have an idea, Austria was able to make the birdie putt.

“We landed in almost the same spot, just less than a yard short,” Austria said.

“I told Repato I’d repeat the same putt in the second playoff hole, and it would be perfect.” It was.

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