Go, Nagai PH Am champs

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SILANG, Cavite — Lois Kaye Go survived Bianca Pagdanganan’s blazing backside charge with clutch par putts in the last two holes, claiming the hotly-disputed Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championship women’s crown on a closing 70 for a one-shot victory at Riviera’s Langer course here yesterday.

I got a little bit rattled after Pagdanganan birdied Nos. 15 and 16. But I stayed relaxed and told myself to just take it easy

Just when Go thought she had the championship all but wrapped up after storming to a four-shot lead at the turn, Pagdanganan came charging back with three birdies in the last nine holes, including back-to-back feats from No. 15 to pull within one.

But she failed to cap her fiery rally with flubbed birdie chances from long range in the last two holes and Go, a Boston College junior, kept her poise and matched her Asian Games gold medal teammate’s pars to clinch the country’s premier championship on a 72-hole 285 total.

“I got a little bit rattled after she (Pagdanganan) birdied Nos. 15 and 16. But I stayed relaxed and told myself to just take it easy,” said Go, who trailed the fancied Pagdanganan and Thai ace Atthaya Thitikul with a 71 in the first round, closed in on the duo with a gutsy 74 in tough conditions Friday then surged ahead with a brilliant 70 in windy play Saturday.

Pagdanganan, who trailed by three after 54 holes, fell farther back with a par-game (35) in the first nine holes as Go closed out the frontside with a birdie-bogey-birdie stint for a 34.

With a huge lead, Go, a SEA Games bronze medalist who also won the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open last year, opted to go for regulation pars at the back but Pagdanganan worked her way back with a birdie on the 10th then threatened within one with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, a run that proved short after failing to set up short birdie opportunities in the last two holes.

The Asiad individual bronze medalist finished with a 68 for a 286 in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific and official hotel Summit Ridge.

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