Tales from the Short Grass
2023 POGI Ifugao Invitational
The Tribe has spoken
Barry and Joey are left standing
In a crowded very competetive open field at the 2023 POGI Ifugao Invitatational, POGI members Barry and Joey survived all challengers to capture the Low Net and Low Gross crowns respectively. Rounding up the Tribal Podium are Dante Estrada at Low Net 1st Runner Up and Jerson's heir apparent Jason Florencio at 2nd Runner Up. It was a sweep of sorts for the POGI members, a remarkable feat considering the open Invitational roster included some notable single and pedigreed handicappers from other esteemed clubs.
Held at The Architects Golf club, it was POGI's most attended golf tournament of the year, no doubt because Tour Coordinator Jess Bautista took the Invitational tournament mission to heart. Despite a last minute botched course reservation, he managed to deliver a competitive, friendly and fun tournament. We were well nourished too after the bruising round. Good job Jess!
Let's hear it from the boys:
Tour Coordinator Jess' Monday blues
POGI Invitational tournament to remember. For the first time, POGI major tournament was held on Sunday. It was originally scheduled at Neshanic GC on August 20th but for some reason Neshanic informed me they have us on their calendar on August 27th. I learned this less than a week before the tournament. I scrambled to find another Golf course to accommodate us. It was very stressful week and I thought of perhaps cancelling the tournament. Luckily, Architect GC were able to accommodate us.
Total of 32 players participated and arrived early. It was great moment at the putting green when people started seeing other friends that they haven’t seen for very long time. It was a joyful reunion. I took a lot of pictures to remember the moments.
At 12:40, First group composed of our guests from SWAG Lino Emnas and Romy Francisco and former POGI coach Ed Amisola and our very own Joey Alfonso. I strategically placed this group on the front because I know they play fast. This group disappeared from our sight after hole#2.
Then 2nd group composed of myself and paired with Musto, SWAG president Oca Briones who is paired with our exiled POGI alumni Bong Mapa. The highlight of the round was on Hole#6, Par 3, 97 yards to pin. Musto walked up on the tee box with his pitching wedge on hand and took an aim to the pin, choke down his wedge and fired away and Boom! Landed a foot away from the hole then settled 3 ft to the hole. Of course the legend Musto made the putt for a Birdie. It was a celebration! Musto silently celebrated the Birdie as like a feeling of holding 2 big breasts LOL! And of course, he emerged as Closest to the Pin winner.
After the round we proceeded to Teppanyaki Grill and Sushi Buffet and the moment we arrived the food was ready for us, that’s amazing!
During the feast, we started announcing the tournament winners. It was such a fun time during the awarding. We have some giveaways that was raffled and few people were very lucky to win it.
There was also special award, the “Gulay award”, which won by our guest, Rey Padilla, in which he took home a bundle of Sitaw and Ampalaya LOL!
Jerson Florencio’s son, Jason grabbed the 2nd runner up trophy. Jason is only 17 years old and it’s his very first award in golf tournament. Our Kuya D, Dante Estrada bagged the 1st runner up. Then Barry Reyes captured Low Net champion! And of course our very own Joey Alfonson bagged the Low Gross champion. Kudos to all winners! The POGI Flag was raised on Sunday.
Joey slays his OGs
So glad to see many SWAG players able to join us at this year’s POGI invitational. This is mainly due to SWAG’s tournament cancellation on the 19th. It was almost like a reunion of the top POGI OGs! Meet and greet the past POGI champions! The originals! I was also excited to play with Romy, Lino, and Ed A. I haven’t paired with Romy ever, and it’s been a while since I played with Lino and Ed too. These three were the past POGI top class A players when I was a beginner golfer. They are all still great players and single handicappers. I was really looking forward to this challenge. I feel like I represent the present POGI and have to overcome the challenges of these past POGI champions.
Architects Golf Club is a great venue for us. The course is in top condition and we were blessed with great weather.
Rey P, who many consider as the best SWAG player right now (with course handicap of 1) was able to join us as well. I told everybody that we are only playing for 2nd now with Rey around. Rey actually told me that he thinks I will win the tournament before we even started. Was he a prophet or just being nice to me?
Our foursome teed off first and we were cruising nicely. We finished in 4 hrs and 20 mins. These three played well and hit great shots one after another. But today, it was my time to carry the POGI group. I played my best POGI round of the year, shot 76 with 2 birdies, enough to beat the SWAG sharpshooters and past POGI champions.
Barry shuns Senior Tee
Biggest golf event of 32 players. Could not even get on putting greens. Swag players were friendly and cool to play with. Played with the Best in Rey Padilla. Jimbo & I witness a free golf clinic.
Love the 6th hole Par 3 downhill 110 yards. Missed the short birdie attempt and closest to pin. Was so relaxed playing with Jimbo & along with the beautiful beautiful landscape. He even reminded me at some point that I was playing well enough to be in 3rd place. He advised me to be careful not to slip down the leaderboard. Thanks Jimbo.
I was qualified for the Senior tee but opted for the regular Blue. I Love to make it hard for myself. Good to know I still got something left before I retire end of this year. Sabi ni Tatt Puede kung tumitigas pa rin haha.
So sweet to win. Jerson and Lino saw me practicing at Hyatt Hills Golf Complex driving/putting range at Clark NJ. Pati sila practice din.
Next tournament, I’m going for the Senior tee for a chance for longest drive to beat Nest haha. I found the greens not in great shape. Lots of par putts missed. But I tried to stay focus and settled for mostly back 9 bogey holes. Lest Jerson and Lino didn’t know, I practiced 3 times that week before tournament. Only saw them at 1 of my practice sessions at the range. I was looking for that swing I had when I won 2021 Pogi Open along with other wins at Memorial and Mini Tours. That was when my HCP dropped to 17.
Win or lose, I’m just so happy to keep on playing at this Senior age. Always gives me a new lease on life. I keep asking myself … what am I going to do in retirement aside from golf.
Dante under pressure
I was focused on my game so I wasn’t paying attention to other players hahaha. I played good. I could have won first place if I made those short putts. Pressure made me missed those putts. Ramil Aquino played well too. We were battling from start to finish. Me and Ramil were battling but complimenting each other when we hit good shots
The weather was just right. It was a gorgeous summer day. The course was in pristine condition with fast greens. You need good nerves to putt well. Oca is a putting machine. He has steady hands with good touch. He made putts that others would miss. Jess started out hot. He birdied the first hole and just barely missed the birdie putt on the second hole. Unfortunately, the bunkers got him. Imagine a player with his skills losing a ball hitting out of the bunker.
The senior tees was a good idea for older high handicappers. We took home longest drive and closest to the pin. The game was more fun even though our egos took a small hit for a short while at the beginning of the game.
It was good to see our swag friends. Those guys are still a lot of fun. Romy is still the king with his elegant swing. Lino the raging bull Emnas is still very strong and Cary still has his dashing personality.
Joey is really good. He is long, accurate with a nice attitude. He deserves to low gross. Good new blood at the top of his game.
Rey Padilla is like Tiger Woods. Good golfers are intimidated by him. It could be because of his skills or his clothes
It was a well played tournament. Congratulations to all the people who made it a success. Special thanks to Jess, Nestor and Dino.
In the end, the 2023 POGI Ifugao Invitational Golf Tournament stood as a beacon of unity, where golfers from various backgrounds converged to celebrate the game they love. The shared moments on and off the course, the challenging shots, and the triumphant victories etched memories that will resonate for years to come. As the POGI flag was raised, it symbolized not just victories, but the enduring spirit of golf and the friendships it fosters.
The Official Results
Low Net Champion - Barry Reyes, Gross 85, Net 68
Low Gross Champion - Joey Alfonso, Gross 76, Net 67
Low Net 2nd - Dante Estrada, Gross 85, Net 69
Low Net 3rd - Jason Florencio, Gross 94, Net 69
Scenes from the Tournament
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POGI Mini Tour 4
Manny Closes Out Mini Tour
Manny Domantay won the fourth and last POGI Mini Tour Event for 2023. He parred the last 3 holes to tie Ralph Ferrer’s net score of 74. Manny only won by tiebreaker on the hardest 17th hole which he parred against Ralph's bogey. Joey Alfonso was a very close third just 2 strokes behind.
Manny played a solid round of 85, securing 7 pars. On Manny’s win, Musto observed that he has “Solid fundamentals in every aspect of the game”. Rescinding the past tour’s frustrating low waist showing, he was a man with a mission. Of his win, Manny modestly assessed the result saying “I needed the redemption”.
This game was a rain check from the very wet Mini Tour 1 last April 15 early in the season. Less than halfway thru the round then, we cowered and sought refuge in our carts trying to avoid the deluge. Fearful of the relentless thunder and lightning, we gave up and went back to base. Ralph our unflagging commissioner, promptly secured vouchers for the cancelled game ensuring a return engagement.
On the benches while waiting for the relatively slow last foursome to come in, Jimbo and Jess were already counting their spoils of the birdie pool having secured a birdie each. Jimbo however has his sights on a bigger pool - a billion dollar pool. This purse he unselfishly will share with all 11 players on the Mini Tour 4 event, having earlier collected $2 dollars from everybody for this chance at a dream.
The POGI Mini Tour are filler games between the league’s major tours where participants vie for cash prizes. This year, Ralph Ferrer our untiring commissioner efficiently organized the participants and calendar, collected the fees, set sensible rules and tee locations, contracted all the courses alone by himself, refunded unused funds and sorted out a rainout - making sure we were fully recompensed resulting in the free game for most participants today. At the end of this final event, all winnings were promptly disbursed by Ralph. We are very thankful for all his efforts and spoiled by his efficiency.
The Official Results
Low Net 1st - Manny Domantay, Gross 85, Net 74
Low Net 2nd - Ralph Ferrer, Gross 89, Net 74
Low Net 3rd - Joey Alfonso, Gross 83, Net 76
Scenes from the Tournament
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POGI Mangyan Tour
Ralph is Homecoming King
Joey can't help but Gross us out again
Ralph Ferrer won the Inaugural POGI Mangyan Tour event as low net champion. Joey Alfonso continued to dominate as best POGI golfer capturing once again the low gross crown.
The game did not start well for Ralph. Having recently played the course, he was sharing some familiarity of the new hazards in play with his foursome. On the 1st hole, having just advised them of water trouble on the right, his approach to the green went to the right. Girding for luck, it was to his relief that he found the Titleist ball and he quickly pitched it into the green. Behind him, Jerson was frustrated as his Titleist ball was nowhere to be found. When Ralph reached the green and marked his ball, he awfully realized that he had mistakenly played Jerson's ball. Replacing the ball for Jerson with apologies, he eventually found his real ball and pitched it well again. He ended up completing the hole in 8, calling a 2 stroke penalty on himself. Ralph's championship performance started with a snowman. A magical snowman as it turns out. Showing remarkable resilience, he eagled the 2nd hole. The rest of game, he straddled the top of the leaderboard and held it to the end. With steady long drives and steady approaches to the green, his hot putter sealed it for him. Coming from all directions and distances, his ball was finding the center of the cup. On the handicap 1 hole 4, his putt from 84 feet saved his par. By the time he got to the last hole, Ralph was informed that he was 4 shots ahead. With that much buffer, it was already Ralph's tournament. With a very bad start, a quick fortuitous turnaround, a hot putter, a steady iron game, it was a remarkable performance. Congratulations Ralph.
As the reigning low gross champion from the last major, this crown is now Joey's jewel to lose whenever we host a major tournament. He did not disappoint and he prevails again. While currently our only single handicapper and therefore our best, other POGIs are within striking distance. Joey cannot let his guard down. Today however, Joey continues to be the title holder of grossest of them all. Congratulations Joey.
The rest of the podium include 1st runner up in low net Nestor Geslani who managed to put together a decent game. Jerson Florencio faded his powerful drives to a 2nd runner up low net finish. Like Ralph, he could do very little wrong on the green. Many times, his downhill putts were tapped with conviction and hit the back of cup before holing in. Marvel Abaquita also had a stellar sub 90 round and just fell short of a podium finish.
The event was held at the renovated and rejuvenated Tamarack Golf course. It was a homecoming of sorts as this course is the birthplace of the POGI league where more than two decades back, young hackers devoid of back problems and with bountiful hair started to passionately and enthusiastically pursue the game. At that time, the legend of Tiger Woods was just being written and celebrated. Each Sunday afternoon, we watch the predator in red, prowl and close out another tournament. His dominance unquestioned, all the other golfers just playing for second. Spurred by his exploits we excitedly took up this game. After so many years past, a few of us sport single handicaps, most with reasonable game and few linger still in Neverland. Still working on their game. Still hoping for that magical day when we know everything will come together.
On the Tamarack staging area, Jun Solidum reveals his plan. The legendary days of POGI's Silent Assassin may now only exist in lore. A fierce competitor especially in match play, gone are the days when he openly cheers his opponent's bad shot (and you are not offended but amused). Gone are the days when his funky swing can launch both his ball and shoe (and legend says , more). He still has his keen wit. He realizes without apologies, that he needs to bring up his handicap to be competitive. Having now elevated his handicap to equalize Nestor's (handicap, not girth), his next target he says is Tatt whose steady game belies his index. Jun in his always unfiltered self is actually complimenting Tatt.
Earlier Jun was protesting Tour coordinator Musto's inexplicable Tee Time pairing. Asked to explain why Marvel who did not participate in prior game ended up being on the 1st group seemingly deviating from this season's established protocol, Musto's explanation was unassailable. He explained that he gave priority to those most enthusiastic. What defines enthusiasm you ask? The people who sign up early are enthusiastic. Marvel was early, he can tee up early. Musto exercised his broad power as Tour Coordinator. Musto gave us a good tournament. Great course, good participation, and a friendly and competitive atmosphere. Good job Musto.
The pace of play was good no doubt helped by the tour coordinator's sensible gimme ruling. Musto noted that there was hardly any space between groups. The only observed obstruction was the beverage vehicle who seemingly lingered beside Jerson's cart completely blocking the path. The cart girl does not seem to be hawking her wares. Jerson we observed did not buy nary a beverage or snack. Dylan's group on the other hand was well hydrated. A generous tip from Dylan made sure frequent forays by the beverage cart.
Dante as usual is well dressed and colorful. Dante is most people's vote for best person to be in your foursome. Not only will you be witness to his steady powerful shots, you will for sure be well nourished. Dante make sures sure his cooler is stocked with sandwiches, eggs and beer for his foursome. Myself and Jerson were not happy he was in different group as we were famished by the end of the round.
On the handicap 2 par 5 hole, the long drive marker was inexplicably only 15 yards ahead of Nestor's short ball. It looks like the usual suspects Dylan and Joey failed to hit the fairway. Jimbo's drive held up and was longest. Good job Jimbo!
The par 3 12th hole is a tight 174 yard long hole. There is trouble left and right. The wicked greenskeeper had an evil heart that morning and drilled the hole on the short right side adjacent and behind a menacing bunker. It is not a pin placement for the meek. It was however a hole location suitable for Jess's powerful fade. Ending up 27 feet of the hole, he probably confidently marked his name on the greenside sheet expecting no POGI mortal to exceed his feat. On the second to the last group however, a mere muggle did appear. Wielding his 3 wood wand that has never obeyed his many chants before, the wizard of none fired a tight low draw over the bunker. A convenient bounce brought it to just 11 feet and that was the brief tale of how Nestor's name ended up as the final name on that closest to the pin honor sheet.
After game festivities was held on the onsite restaurant. This place played host to many a POGI after game conversations and we fondly remember it. Today, chicken wings and fries seem to be the short order. We missed a chance to visit a nearby Filipino restaurant as it was not sufficiently communicated to the lead groups.
Subsidizing the poultry fare were Ricky Camacho and Manny Domantay, our low waist honorable mentions. Manny by his own admission seem to be feast or famine lately. When his swing is on, he is very very good. His early championship performance on the Memorial tournament docked him a GHIN exceptional performance reduction. Today, his drive on the first tee dribbled close and that seem have dictated the rest of the day. Ricky claims his stylish PXG shirt (sold by Jerson) was not worth the bargain he bought it for. While being docked the low waist fee, he ended up however still profiting from the spoils of his one birdie. He also claimed the longest drive, having trekked all the way from the Bulacan provinces of New York
All in all, a successful POGI tournament steered by our friendly and efficient Tour coordinator Musto.
We were blessed with good weather. Thank you to all the POGIs who participated. Congratulations to the champions Ralph and Joey!
The Official Results
Low Net Champion - Ralph Ferrer, Gross 86, Net 71
Low Gross Champion - Joey Alfonso, Gross 82, Net 76
Low Net 1st Runner Up - Nestor Geslani, Gross 94, Net 74
Low Net 2nd Runner Up - Jerson Florencio, Gross 91, Net 75
Longest Drive - Jimbo dela Cruz
Closest to the Pin - Nestor Geslani
Scenes from the Tournament
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POGI Mini Tour 3
Joey Scorches the Field
In a blistering display of his well grooved swing, Joey Alfonso hurled long drives, gently nudged fluid putts, hit crisp chips and explosive sand shots to humble the not so meek POGI field. Under the hot sweltering July sun, Joey asserted his superior conditioning, showed what a repeatable and smooth motion can bring - a not so benign 76. It is unmistakably impressive for those of us unable to wield any consistency - our mostly ungraceful, uncontrolled body gyrations jerked under stress by our undisciplined muscles and mind. We are grateful to bear witness to Joey's game.
Held at scenic Spring Meadow Golf Course -The place had a resort vibe to it. Maybe because of the restaurant bar with outdoor seating fronting the entrance. The course itself was pristine. Fairways were manicured, greens were fast, undulating and challenging. It was another precious discovery by our tireless Tour Commisioner Ralph Ferrer. The night before when course handicaps were published for the short white tees, Jess Bautista appealed for the group to play the longer blue tees. 5762 yards are for girls he pronounced. He was initially jubilant when revised course handicaps showed adjustment for longer tees. Jess request was tersely rejected by Ralph in the morning who simply declared without explanation “we will play White”. Ralph was on a mission to make sure the group play on pace today. Good decision as while the yardage was short, some holes were blind and very tight with terrifying trouble left and right. Some holes needed a long carry over lush marshland. Playing over the long blue tees surely would have delayed the group’s pace. Joey in one rare miss, launched a drive into the thick woods only to be alarmed with a unexpected reaction as some unseen golfers appeared to have been struck by the wayward ball. Joey made sure to apologize when he got down the curvy path and saw the unanticipated tee box location in the unfamilar blind terrain.
The morning did not start well and kept Ralph’s blood pressure high. He had a commitment to keep with the course administrators where he reserved 4 tee times. With this our maiden appearance at this golf course, he wanted show that the POGI group are good golfing citizens who show up organized and play on pace. Manny, stranded out of state had to cancel the night before and respectfully offered to pay any penalties. 3 golfers were missing when the starter started checking the cart parade a few minutes before being sent out. Andy Villarin, one of the Mini Tour participants as it turns out was not aware he was registered that day. As he has family commitments, he was unable to come and profusely apologized. Dylan, our long hitting friendly member was sick the night before and could not join as well. Dylan who always brings his contagious enthusiasm on every foursome is usually very prompt so we knew something was not normal that morning. We hope Dylan gets better so he can join our next event. An unexpected delight however was the appearance of Vince Degorostiza, a former POGI member who had migrated south several years back. We miss his infectious smile and glad he took time out from his family visitations to join our event. On being asked later about the roasting conditions, he observed that it was just like home.
Tatt Ferrer our chatty, irreverant Viber arrived a little late to the course. As the no shows that morning eliminated a foursome from the field, he managed to convince the starter to Uber him so he can join the 3-some 2nd group that was already on their approach shots to the green (Ralph as it turns out made sure to UBER tip the starter). Tatt startled the group with a booming FORE to announce his arrival. We were happy to have Tatt join us. He brings levity and conversation to any group. The reason for his lateness turns out was misunderstanding that the game will start at 8:30 instead of 8:00. His hurried arrival seem to have had a beneficial to his game however. His drives were unusually crisp and long. For the better part of game, he was on top of the leaderboard but stumbled a bit at the end.
Ed Mendoza who was in the 1st group understood the assignment. He made it his mission to prod his group to play faster. Apart from the 1st tee where they seem to go about their usual deliberate, taxing motions on the green, the 1st group which included Mario and Jess were on pace the rest of the day. Ed later observed that they could do better if they moved promptly on the tee box. To waste no time, he ended up teeing it up first even though he does not have the honor. Ed's game, notwithstanding his un-honorable turns on the tee box, recently has been nothing but consistent. He has been nibbling on the top spot the past few events. Today he placed 3rd only by tiebreak with defending champion Jess who had smothered the girly course with his not so feminine score of 83 - the 2nd lowest gross score of the day. Jess's effort is spectacular any other day. Today however it was overshadowed by the Ironman work of Joey. Joey took no prisoners and made sure to collect on his smart bet with Jess.
After game festivities were held on the aforementioned onsite bar and restaurant. The robust airconditioning was welcome to escape the opressive sun. The waitress was courteous, polite and helpful. We may have disappointed her with orders of ice water and demands of individual receipts. She dutifully complied but later could not resist temptation to comment when she handed out the individual bills that most of them had similar amounts. We however were a friendly crowd and placated her with generous tips. After gorging on the juicy burger, fries and wraps the limited menu offered, there was the usual post game analysis. We generally gave ourselves good marks for our pace where we went under the target 4 1/2 hours. Joey talked about the merits of a power fade, how reducing your miss to one side is paramount to managing your game. We let him preach :). It was his day. I don't think however that ignorance of the physics in play is the issue. It is hitting the damn ball correctly to where it should go. It is a mystery remaining unsolved for most of us.
All in all another good day out in the course. Congratulations to the deserving winners. We look forward to the next event where hopefully our Tour coordinator's patient dogged effort to organize these filler events on our calendar will be better reciprocated.
The Official Results
Low Net 1st - Joey Alfonso, Gross 76, Net 71
Low Net 2nd - Jess Bautista, Gross 83, Net 76
Low Net 3rd - Ed Mendoza, Gross 86, Net 76
POGI Batak Open
Darwin proves Theory of Natural Selection
Joey is most Gross
The Royce Brook East Golf Course played host to the highly anticipated POGI Batak Open golf championship, where players showcased their skills and battled for the title. Amidst a generous handicap advantage, Darwin Teja seized the opportunity and emerged as the surprise victor with an improbable net score of 65, edging out his closest competitor, Mario Balmater, who also impressed with a low net score of 66. Ed Mendoza secured the third-place position with a commendable net score of 68. Low Gross honors went to the very consistent Joey Alfonso with a blistering score of 81. The competitive field benefitted from teeing off from the shorter white tees, resulting in exceptionally low net scores. To accentuate, 12 birdies were logged in the pool shared by 6 golfers - Joey claiming the largest cash hoard by making 3 birdies.
The day prior to the tournament, concerns loomed over the event as the weather forecast predicted thunderstorms. Jimbo dela Cruz, the dedicated tour coordinator, worked tirelessly to ensure suitable alternatives in case the weather did not cooperate. With anxious anticipation, the members gathered an hour before tee-off and practiced at the driving range, eagerly awaiting the start of the tournament. Musto Khan, a familiar face, rejoined the POGI tournament after spending the winter months in Florida as a snowbird, returning to New Jersey for the summer. The event also witnessed the reunion of former POGI members Ed Amisola and Bong Mapa, evoking nostalgic memories.
Although a drizzle preceded the first tee-off, the day remained mostly dry, albeit uncomfortably hot and humid. The fairways proved soft and accommodating, while the greens maintained their lightning-fast speed. However, the packed sand in the bunkers posed a challenging obstacle, making it arduous for players to extricate their balls. Additionally, frustration loomed as the golf carts proved unreliable, particularly for the unfortunate first foursome, who had to contend with two cart replacements. Despite the setbacks, they demonstrated remarkable efficiency, playing at a swift pace. Conversely, the second foursome fell several holes behind, significantly delaying the progress of the remaining field. Their meticulous attention to detail on the putting green seemingly contributed to their painstakingly slow play.
Upon completion of their rounds, the first group convened at a nearby Pizza and Pasta restaurant, the designated gathering place for post-game celebrations. Savoring the moment, they indulged in beer, wings, and pizza, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the remaining participants.
During the gathering, accolades were bestowed upon the tournament's outstanding performers. Ramil Aquino claimed the title for the longest drive, while Jess Bautista secured the closest to the pin award. Ed Mendoza clinched the second runner-up position with a gross score of 83 and a net score of 68. Mario Balmater emerged as the first runner-up, achieving a gross score of 82 and a net score of 66. However, it was Darwin Teja who stole the spotlight, defying expectations with a net score of 65, complementing his gross score of 94, to become the surprise low net champion. Joey Alfonso claimed the title of Low Gross champion, posting an impressive gross score of 81.
The event was undoubtedly another exhilarating and enjoyable experience for all participants, and credit was due to the tireless efforts of Tour Coordinator Jimbo, who consistently organized and managed the tournament year after year. As the POGI Batak Open golf championship concluded, players departed with cherished memories and anticipation for future events that would undoubtedly continue to test their skills and forge lasting bonds within the POGI golfing community.
The Official Results
Low Net Champion - Darwin Teja, Gross 94, Net 65
Low Gross Champion - Joey Alfonso, Gross 81, Net 73
Low Net 1st Runner Up - Mario Balmater, Gross 82, Net 66
Low Net 2nd Runner Up - Ed Mendoza, Gross 83, Net 68
Longest Drive - Ramil Aquino
Closest to the Pin - Jess Bautista
Scenes from the Tournament
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POGI Mini Tour #2
Jess (slow) grinds to Victory
In a thrilling display of skill and determination, Jess Bautista clinched victory at the POGI Mini Tour Event, held at the picturesque Pebble Creek Golf Club. Bautista showcased his prowess on the course, finishing with a commendable net score of 77. Ed Mendoza and Mario Balmater put up a strong fight, securing second and third place respectively, both with net scores of 80. However, Ed edged out Mario for the runner-up position on a tiebreaker.
Aside from securing the $50 first-place bounty, Jess Bautista almost earned a $75 bonus even before the game started. Unfortunately, he had forgotten to pay the club his tee time fee. The course staff noticed the discrepancy just before the players were about to head out to the first tee. While luck was not on Jess's side in this instance, his stellar performance on the course more than made up for it.
The Pebble Creek Golf Club proved to be the perfect backdrop for this exciting competition, with its pristine fairways and scenic surroundings. Golfers were faced with the challenge of fast and undulating greens, testing their precision and control. Adding to the overall experience, the participants had the luxury of navigating the course on electric golf carts equipped with comfortable seats.
In addition to the intense on-course battles, another highlight of the event was Jimbo's remarkable performance in the birdie pool. Despite being the sole participant to achieve a birdie, Jimbo made the most of his opportunity and swept the pool, claiming the reward for his exceptional shot.
The POGI Mini Tour serves as a captivating interlude between major tour events, allowing players to hone their skills and compete in a spirited atmosphere. Spearheading these events is the tireless commissioner, Ralph, who meticulously organizes every aspect to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for all participants. One of Ralph's key goals is to promote a sense of inclusivity, ensuring that even the lowest-placed competitors receive a portion of the pot money contributed by participants.
Following the event, the participants gathered at the adjacent Huddy's Inn, where they raised their glasses in a heartfelt toast to the recently retired Mario.
As is often the case in golfing circles, the topic of slow play emerged during the event. The leading foursome found themselves falling behind, prompting the intervention of the ranger, who urged them to pick up the pace. This served as a reminder of the importance of maintaining a steady rhythm of play to ensure an efficient and enjoyable tournament experience for all involved.
The POGI Mini Tour Event at Pebble Creek Golf Club was a testament to the skill, sportsmanship, and camaraderie exhibited by the participants. Jess Bautista's outstanding performance, along with the exciting competition throughout, made this event one to remember. With Ralph at the helm, the Mini Tour continues to provide a valuable platform for golfers to showcase their talents and foster a thriving community within the sport.
POGI Badjao Championship
Jerson claims final bragging rights for the month of May
Jerson Florencio emerged victorious at the inaugural Badjao Golf Tournament organized by the POGI League. Held at the newly renovated Hendricks Field Golf Course, this tournament showcased the talent and skill of its members in a challenging yet enjoyable setting.
With a net score of 74, Jerson Florencio claimed the top spot, narrowly edging out Ed Mendoza, who also shot a net score of 74. However, Jerson secured the victory by virtue of a better score of par on the tiebreaker hole. The competition remained fierce until the end, with Dante Estrada finishing a close third with a net score of 75.
Hendricks Field Golf Course underwent a remarkable transformation recently, with a $5.2 million facelift that turned it into a champion-caliber facility. However, the redesign of some holes inadvertently affected the accuracy of the GPS watches used by the players, leading to incorrect yardages on several holes. Nonetheless, the members embraced the challenge and adapted to the situation, showcasing their adaptability and resilience on the course.
The course's rough proved to be particularly punishing, making accuracy and precision essential for a successful round. On tight holes, any errant drives would often result in lost balls, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the game. Despite these challenges, the members thoroughly enjoyed the course, appreciating its strategic layout and the test it presented to their skills.
The POGI League expressed their gratitude to Ralph for discovering this hidden gem of a course. The selection of Hendricks Field Golf Course proved to be a delightful surprise for the members, who were enthralled by its beauty and its ability to provide a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience.
The tournament was expertly managed by Joey, who ensured that all aspects of the event ran smoothly. His meticulous planning and attention to detail contributed to the overall success of the tournament, allowing the players to focus on their game and fully enjoy the experience.
After the intense competition, the participants gathered at the nearby Pandan restaurant to celebrate and share in the camaraderie that golf often fosters. The post-game festivities featured a sumptuous spread, which turned out to be more than anticipated. The indulgence resulted in a surprisingly hefty bill, but the members were not deterred as the delicious food filled their appetites and served as a perfect ending to a memorable day on the greens.
In addition to the tournament results, special recognition was given to Ed Mendoza for achieving the closest to the pin, displaying exceptional accuracy and precision in his shot. Jess Bautista, on the other hand, showcased remarkable power and distance with his drive, securing the title of the longest drive. The title for Low Gross was shared by Joey Alfonso and Alden Nacionales, both demonstrating remarkable talent by posting impressive scores of 86.
The first Badjao Golf Tournament organized by the POGI League at Hendricks Field Golf Course proved to be a resounding success. It highlighted the talent, competitiveness, and camaraderie among the members, while also showcasing the charm and challenges of the newly renovated course. With the bar set high, the POGI League eagerly anticipates future events that will continue to promote the love for the game and strengthen the bonds among its members.
The Official Results
Low Net Champion - Jerson Florencio, Gross 93, Net 74
Low Net 1st Runner Up - Ed Mendoza, Gross 87, Net 74
Low Net 2nd Runner Up - Dante Estrada, Gross 87, Net 75
Longest Drive - Jess Bautista
Closest to the Pin - Ed Mendoza
Scenes from the Tournament
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POGI Tumandok Memorial
Manny is the new POGI Alpha
The P.O.G.I. Golf League held its annual Memorial Golf tournament on May 14, 2023, and it was a great success. The tournament was held at Lakewood Country Club and saw some fantastic performances from the golfers.
Manny Domantay, who has a handicap of 14, emerged as the winner of the tournament with a score of 77. This was Manny's first POGI win, and it was a memorable one as he shot his lowest score ever. Manny had 10 pars and 2 birdies during the tournament, which was a remarkable feat.
Joey Alfonso was another golfer who performed well in the tournament. He shot a score of 78 and had 12 pars and 1 birdie. Jimbo Dela Cruz scored 87, and although it was not enough to win the tournament, he put up a great effort.
The tournament also had some exciting side events, such as the Closest to the Pin, which was won by Ralph Ferrer, and the Longest Drive, won by Dylan Adams. The birdie pool was won by Joel David, who had 4 birdies during the tournament.
The tournament also saw the addition of 2 new members. Dante Estrada, a perennial guest participant finally officially joined the league, and Andy Villarin, a former member who had been on a long hiatus, rejoined the league.
Former member Bong Mapa made an appearance at the tournament. Just the day before he was posting pictures in Facebook from Madrid. We miss Bong and we were very happy to see him.
The tournament was well-managed by Ralph Ferrer, and the event was a great opportunity for the members of the P.O.G.I Golf League to come together and enjoy their shared passion for golf. The event was a great success, and the golfers had a wonderful time competing against each other and enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the Lakewood Country Club.
Overall, the P.O.G.I Golf League's Memorial Golf tournament was a memorable event that showcased the skills of some exceptional golfers and provided an opportunity for the members to come together and enjoy their shared love of golf.
The Official Results
Low Net Champion - Manny Domantay, Gross 77, Net 68
Low Net 1st Runner Up - Joey Alfonso, Gross 78, Net 74
Low Net 2nd Runner Up - Jimbo Dela Cruz Gross 87, Net 76
Longest Drive - Dylan Adams
Closest to the Pin - Ralph Ferrer
Scenes from the Tournament
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