Cordillera pride Luigi Paolo Wong placed fifth in the 2023 Philippine National Stroke Play Championship that attracted 95 top amateur golfers from the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the United States.
The 22-year-old Wong scored an aggregate of 304 after four rounds during the tournament held Jan. 3 to 6 at the difficult and tricky Riviera Golf and Country Club Langer course in Silang, Cavite.
Wong carded a four-over par-71 in the first round followed by 80 in the second round before he came back stronger with 73 in the third round before closing his game with 76.
He tailed Filipino British Enrique Dimayuga who placed fourth with a total of 301 points.
Carl Jano Corpus was hailed the national stroke play champion with 287 points and scoring the best round with 68 in the first round.
Corpus’ cousin, former junior world champion Aidric Jose Chan, placed second with 296 while Filipino American junior golfer prodigy Jaden Dumdumaya placed third with 297.
All players in top five are currently training in the United States being students-athletes in different learning institutions, which means there’s a need to develop more effective and efficient programs for junior golfers in the country.
Corpus, Chan, and Wong also saw action in the previous Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournaments, along with South Korean Tom Kim, who is now making a name in the Professional Golf Association.
Wong, who is the defending National Golf Association of the Philippines overall champion, opted not to participate in the recent 72nd Fil-Am Invitational Golf Tournament, as he had to finish all his examinations at San Jose State University in California before he flew to the country on Dec. 14, 2022.
The Ibaloy golfer, who is a member of the Spartans Golf Team of SJSU, is graduating this May and he surprised his parents that he will finish his course in four years instead of five years, which is a normal practice for students-athletes competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the U.S. – Harley F. Palangchao