A registered nurse back in the United States, Filipino-American John Catalan snagged the Division 1 runner-up honors in the recent the World Amateur Golfers Invitational category of the World Amateur Golfers Championship WAGC in Phuket, Thailand.
But while the 28-year-old based in Los Angeles is happy to have represented the Philippine well, he vowed to get back and win the championship in the coming year.
“That’s for sure. I will try again next year, go to the qualifiers again but I’ll make sure I’m prepared, 100 percent healthy,” said Catalan, who dislocated his left shoulder two weeks ago during a practice round.
You can’t blame him. He’s not a former junior golf champ for nothing.
“It feels good knowing that you represented the country well. It was bittersweet, however, because I came up short of winning the championship,” Catalan said.
“It was a tough tournament because all participants played in four tough golf courses. We actually played six straight days, which included two days of practice rounds. Still, it feels good that the efforts were rewarded by making it to the podium.”
He is son of former Acting Prosecutor General of the Philippines and former Chief Prosecutor of Makati City Jorge Galvez Catalan Jr.
Over the weekend, he carded a final round of five-over par 77 and put together a four-day total score of 293, just a stroke behind Finland’s Klmmo Hyvarinen, who finished with 292. Mariusz Czerkawski of Poland placed third overall at 296.
Catalan matched the 2017 first runner-up finish of Tonito Payumo in Division 1 of WAGC. However, he came short of becoming the second Filipino to win the WAGC, which Payumo did in 2018.
He had an opening round of three-over par 75. Then he came through with a 71 the next day and a 70 the following day to move up to the top spot of the leaderboard for four-shot lead on James Oliver Yeomans of United Arab Emirates.
Participants played in four golf courses in Phuket, including Laguna Golf, Red Mountain Golf Club, Blue Canyon Country Club, and Aquella Golf and Country Club.