Ruben Avendano leaned on his impressive first round score to compensate for a pedestrian second round to win the Fil-Taga Golfers Association’s Ace of Aces Tournament, which had its awards ceremony last Saturday at the Jang Gun Korean Restaurant in Garapan.
The 62-year-old Pacific Home Appliances staff shot only net 78 (gross 96, 46-50) in the second round last Saturday at the Kingfisher Golf Links, but he already did his heavy lifting a week prior with a net 67 (gross 86, 43-43) at the Laolao Bay Golf & Resort. In the end, he finished with a two-round score of 145 for a net 72.5 average.
Avendano, the July Ace of the Month winner, had little faith winning his first Ace of Aces trophy due to how he poorly played last weekend, especially in the back nine.
“My first thought was I’m already behind because my back nine was really bad. But when the scoresheets came in most back nine scores were not so good except for Mike’s [Cruz], Lito’s [Mendoza], and Bae’s [Hak Chon].”
The Manila, Philippines native said windy conditions factored in his bad game last Saturday.
“The conditions at the back nine were very windy with rain that’s why other players’ scores went down. I always play nine holes so I’m more used to a short game. I’m also not prepared playing in rainy and windy conditions. Veteran players like Lito and Mike can make their ball fly low, which is good for a windy game. I’m just really lucky that I had a really low score in the first round,” he said.
Asked who is he dedicating his first ever Ace of Aces championship to, Avendano pointed to Fil-Taga members who passed away the last couple of years— Raffy Piamonte and Larry Pascual.
“I want to dedicate my win to these two players. Both worked hard to keep Fil-Taga active,” he said.
Coming in second to Avendano was March ace winner Bae Hak Chon with his two-round score of 149 that was good for a net 74.5 average. Mike Cruz, the September ace winner, actually finished tied with Bae but lost in a scorecard tiebreak.
A total of 10 Fil-Taga members participated in the club’s Ace of Aces tourney. They are the following with their two-round net scores in parenthesis: June ace Lito Mendoza (151), November ace Ed Varias (151), February ace Dan Ganacias (152), January ace Henry Bautista (157), October ace Fredie Cataluna (157), May ace William Retardo (158), and December Bert Suda (159). August ace Ronnie Santos and April ace Tony Cabrera were only able to take part in the first round, where they scored a net 77 and a net 79, respectively.