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PH golfers star for AsPac

Lloyd Go rebounded from setbacks in team play with a 3&2 triumph in singles, capping Team Asia-Pacific’s thrilling 16.5-15.5 victory over Team Europe in the Bonallack Trophy at the Doha Golf Club in Qatar last weekend.

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Playing in the final singles, Go delivered the much-needed victory over Frenchman Frederic Lacroix to anchor Team As-Pac’s strong 7.5-4.5 windup to help the team clinch its first triumph since 2004 and third overall.

Held over three days, the amateur match-play competition established in 1998 is patterned after the Ryder Cup, pitting Europe against the Asia-Pacific every two years with host courses alternating biennially between the two regions.

But while the men’s match was tight and decided in the final singles, the second Patsy Hankins Trophy proved to be lopsided with Asia-Pacific clobbering Europe, 23.5-8.5 to keep the crown.

At the forefront of the team’s charge were Yuka Saso and Thai ace Atthaya Thitikul, who swept their four team-ups in foursomes and fourball before capping their superb stints with victories in singles.

Saso, who lost the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific crown to Thitikul in the playoff recently, edged Denmark’s Puk Lyng Thomsen, 2&1, while Thitikul beat Italian Bianca Fabrizio, 4&3.

In Bonallack Trophy, Team Asia-Pacific held a slim 5.5-4.5 lead after the four-ball and foursomes matches in the first day, but faltered and trailed 9-11 heading to the deciding singles.

But Aussies Lee Min Woo and Chae Wools-Cobb took the first two matches, but Todd Clements of England and Sami Valimaki of Finland won the next two to draw level and keep the lead for Team Europe.

But Thai Kammalas Namuangruk, Korean Kim Dong Min and Aussie Daniel Hiller swept the next three to go up again and an all-square match in the eighth match kept As-Pac in control.

Although Norway’s Kristoffer Reitan and Swede Oliver Gillberg put Team Europe back in the hunt with victories, Japanese Kazuya Osawa and Go, whose campaign was sanctioned by the National Golf Association of the Philippines, trampled their respective rivals to secure the victory.