by Joan G. Flores
OUR VETERAN GOLFERS from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan brought honors to the town while participating in the 59th FIL-AM Golf Invitational at Camp John Hay and Baguio Country Club, Baguio City Philippines last November 21-Dec 6.
This international tournament is the world’s biggest amateur golf event recognized by the Guiness Book of Records. Over twelve hundred golfers from all over the world saw action during the two week event.
After the final round in this 5-to-play-4 to count four-day competition, Ave Gramata, a two-star retired U.S. Navy Command Master Chief from Bobonan and the team captain of the Rising Sun Golf team of Japan, took individual honors as the gold medalist for AM flight G. His teammate, Ron Nichols also took the individual championship in the E flight, Fil division.
For the team honors, Jim Klinefelter, another Pozorrubian, also a retired two star Navy command Master Chief and the team captain of the PAGA Washington Golf Team based in Seattle, led his team from a mediocre start to clench the championship of the G flight AM division leading the Chamorros Golf Club of Guam by 21 points in the stable ford format competition.
Rising Sun of Japan team started from a distant 7th in the first two days of play at the rugged Baguio Country Club course. The team displayed their prowess on the 3rd and final rounds, thanks to Gramata’s 22 and 29 points scores at the Camp John Hay Golf Course that were almost matched by his very young and inexperienced players from their home course at Naval Air Facility, Atsugi, Japan. The two days’ scores provided them the avenue to dislodge the Shangrila Valley and the NBI Golf teams from contention to end just 2 points behind the Chamorros for a respectable 2nd runner up.
After an intensely contested championship fight for the Seniors Flight A division, LTGEN Jack Ligot, Philippine Army retired, of Pozorrubio, anchored his Camp Aguinaldo team to clench the championship. The team, composed of senior flag rank officers in the Philippine military, proved that experience and patience are the keys to success in conquering the two mountain courses with their very narrow fairways and lurking hazards.
The teams of Gramata, Klinefelter and Ligot will be returning to Baguio next year during the 60th FIL-AM Golf tournament to defend their individual and team titles.