By RIC DE VERA
Clinton Meacham of Gladesville who plays regularly on Saturday and a member of Marsden Park Golfers Association captures the 15th PAL Kalayaan cup golf tournament held at Richmond Golf Club on June 14, in conjunction with the celebration of the 112th anniversary of Philippine Independence.
Meacham used his adjusted social handicap from Marsden Park of 19 to score unbeatable 38 points. Being the overall champion, he ran away with economy class return airfare compliments of Philippines, $300 cash, annual monumental trophy and the right to engrave his name in the perpetual trophy. He was the only one, aside from the lady champion, who scored under par during the day.Ladies Division champion Khanita Yupongchay receiving her trophy from Dr Anton Andres (donor of ladies trophies,) whilst Atty Kate Andres is waiting to hand over the set of Callaway Big Berta Irons to the champion.
Division champions were Theerayoth Supoltavanith (Thai) for Div A with his score of 36 points using 14 handicap, Carlos Perez from Fil-Oz for Div B using 18 handicap and net score of 36 points and Peter Anderson also from Fil-Oz for Div C using his AGU handicap with Twin Creek of 27 and net score of 33 points. These winners received annual trophies, $100 cash and sleeve of golf balls for their exceptional efforts.
Runners up in each division were Buddy Zabat of Fairgolf for Div A (35 points), Nuthapat Yupongchay from Thai Golf for Div B (35 points, CB) and Mark Webb of ParE Golf for Div C with 32 points, count back. They received trophies, $50 cash each and sleeve of golf balls as their prizes.
For the first time this year, there were seven ladies who played courtesy of Kate Andres and Vangie Leones, who worked hard to encourage Filipino women to join by coming up with valuable prizes. Khanita Yupongchay grabs the overall champion trophy and a set of Callaway irons, using her handicap of 24 from Thai golf and a fantastic score of 38 points. This was followed by Sonia Flores as first runner up with her score of 30 points using her handicap with North Ryde of 30. Sonia received a trophy, Callaway Big Berta No 5 wood and sleeve of golf balls for her great effort. The second runner up went to Raquel San Juan with her score of 28 points using her social handicap of 28. Raquel received Callaway Big Berta No 3 wood and sleeve of golf balls as her prize. All trophies for the ladies were donated by Dr. Anton Andres.
Novelty hole winners were Daki Falcon (hole1, 5, 6 & 9), Kit Stabarbara (2 & 11), Jun Almario (3), K. Kularb (4), Bobby Reyes (7, 17 & 18), C. Thanasesvila (8), Mr. Axe (10 & 14), N. Yupongchay (12), Chris Sitchon (13), Arnold Villamayor (15) and James Fatu (16). All these golfers received $30 each for their great efforts in winning either nearest the pins, best drive & pitch and longest drives.Kalayaan cup overall champion, Clinton Meacham (2nd from left) receiving his perpetual trophy from Ric de Vera (far left & Fil-oz presiden), monumental annual trophy from Delfin Posada (2nd from right & LBC country manager) and PAL airfare & cash from Col Roger Salvador (far right, Defense and Armed Forces Attache’) representing the Ambassador to Australia Ernesto de Leon.
This year’s tournament is co-sponsored for the first time by LBC Australia headed by Delfin Posada. “LBC, with its 60 years of heritage, is committed to serve its customers by linking and bridging Filipinos around the world and events such as this allow us to strengthen our ties with our fellow Filipinos here in Australia”, Mr. Posada said in his message to all the gofers. Other major sponsors are Philippine Airlines and R.O. Biala.
There were 110 golfers who joined the tournament, which is now considered the biggest and well attended golf event in the Filipino Australian golfing community. Social golf clubs represented were Thai Social Golf Clubs who sent eighteen (18) of its members, NAGA (Tongan) Golf club, Marsden Park Golfers Association, Fairgolf, Divotees, ParX, Cabramatta Thai Group and Sicgoc member clubs. For the first time, the Malaysian National Day organizing committee sent three of its members, including the chairman and Malaysian Trade Commissioner for Australia and Oceania.
During the awards presentation and dinner, Ric de Vera, Fil-Oz president rendered his official welcome address and thanked everyone for their continued support, especially Philippine Airlines as principal sponsor with naming rights, LBC Australia P/L, R.O. Biala P/L, and various other sponsors. He also thanked Richmond Golf Club Ltd for allowing the golf course to be used during the tournament… Finally, to Phil. Dept of Tourism for supplying the bags for the giveaways and to all the Filipino restaurants who donated dinner for two as raffle prizes. These are D’Basement, Sizzling Fillo, Magnolia, Fiesta and Le Colonial. Lastly, to all the golfers who have won not only in the competition but also by meeting new and old friends through fellowship and camaraderie while playing the game of golf that they all love. Besides, this is also an event that will commemorate the proclamation of Philippine Independence 112 years ago.
“Ladies Division First runner up, Sonia Flores, receiving her trophy from Dr. Anton Andres (donor of ladies trophies), whilst Atty Kate Andres is waiting to hand over the Callaway Big Berta 5 wood she donated.”
The Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ernesto H. de Leon was represented by Col. Roger Salvador, Defense and Armed Forces Attache’ based at Philippine Embassy in Canberra. Col. Salvador is also a golfer and played with the group after hitting the ceremonial tee-off along with Ric de Vera (Fil-Oz President), Delfin Posada (LBC Country Manager) andYew Chee Ong (Malaysian Trade Commissioner for Australia and Oceania). In his short message, Col Salvador congratulated Fil-oz Social golf club for continuously coordinating the Kalayaan cup which is now on its 15th year, thanked all the golfers for joining and congratulated the winners of the tournament.
Entertainment numbers were supplied by Tyler Gonzales, a young, vivacious upcoming singer, songwriter, recording artist and model. She is the daughter of Jun & Precy Gonzales. Jun Gonzales took charge of the master of ceremonies.
Fil-Oz Social Golf club is an active member of the Sydney Interclub Golf Organising Committee (SICGOC), whose main purpose is to develop its members into a more proactive golfer by organizing golf tournaments in Sydney and in the Philippines. Fil-Oz is also an affiliate of the Philippine Community Council of New South Wales (PCC-NSW). To find out more about the benefits of being a member and future tournaments, kindly visit www.filozgolf.org or phone Ric de Vera on 0414-790-880.