May 24, 2024

■  Harley F. Palangchao

Cordilleran professional golfers Mars Pucay and Danny Zarate graced the second edition of the Cordillera Golfers Foundation, Inc. tournament in three courses in Baguio, as they hope to inspire the younger generations of players in the region.

Pucay and Zarate joined Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and CGFI president Arnel Peil in a ceremonial tee off on April 3 at Camp John Hay Golf Club to signal the start of action for the 86 teams with around 400 players.

2ND CGFI GOLF CUP — Cordilleran golfing prides Mars Pucay (3rd from left) and Danny Zarate (4th from left) joined officials of the Cordillera Golfers Foundation, Inc. led by president Arnel Peil and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong in a ceremonial tee off to kick off the 2nd CGFI Tournament in Camp John Hay Golf Club, Pinewoods Golf & Country Club, and Baguio Country Club on April 1 to 6. Around 86 teams are vying for titles in the championship, regular, and seniors divisions. — Harley Palangchao

As an amateur, Pucay was a member of 1993 Philippine Team to the Southeast Asian Games that won a gold and a silver medal in the individual game categories; a Philippine masters champion in 1993; a Philippine amateur champion in 1993; a President’s Cup champion also in 1993; and a Brunei Open champion in 1993.

As a professional golfer, Pucay was a two-time Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Tour champion; a three-time World Cup player with top 10, top 16, and top 18 finishes; a 20-year Asian Tour player with 12 top 10 finishes; a 15-time local tournaments champion; and a two-year veteran in the Pepsi Tour-California player, among other accomplishments.

Zarate, on the other hand, was an accomplished amateur golfer, as he was a Junior Master champion in 1982; a Philippine Team representative to the Junior World U.S.A. in 1982; and a member of the Philippine Golf Team in the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games from 1988 to 1991.

As a professional golfer, he was a four-time Putra Cup player; a two-time World Cup player; a 16-time Philippine Tour champion; and a 15-year veteran in Asian Tour, among other accomplishments.

Meanwhile, action is ongoing at the CJHGC, Pinewoods Golf & Country Club, and Baguio Country Club for the players vying for titles in the championship, regular, seniors, and friendship divisions.

Cash prize worth P50,000, an electric bike, a Yamaha golf cart, P100,000 worth of K&G products, and another golf cart from Club Car are at stake for players who will nail a hole-in-one in designated holes in the three playing venues.

The 2nd edition of the CGFI Golf Tournament got major support following its successful conduct of an outreach mission in six provinces and two cities in the Cordillera from the proceeds of its maiden tournament.

The CGFI has allocated P2.4 million from the proceeds of its maiden tournament in Baguio in May 2023, of which, the amount was equally divided by the eight schools division offices of Apayao, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province, including the cities of Baguio and Tabuk.