The Philippine golf contingent, while narrowly missing the podium, showcased commendable performances at the 19th Asian Games. Clyde Mondilla secured a joint 10th position in the men’s individual event, while Rianne Malixi wrapped up in a shared 11th place on the women’s side, at the West Lake International Golf Course in Xihu District.
Mondilla concluded his campaign with a solid second 70 in four days, totaling a commendable 15-under 273. This earned him a tied position with Thai competitor Atiruj Winaicharoenchai, who faced a challenging final round, finishing 12 strokes behind the impressive 261 posted by Hong Kong’s rising star, Taichi Kho.
Kho’s consistent performance allowed him to edge out world No. 27 and PGA Tour stalwart, Sungjae Im of Korea, who fell short of a rally despite a brilliant 65, finishing with a total of 262.
Mondilla, on his Facebook, wrote: “Finished strong at 10th place! #AsianGames2023. Grateful to have the opportunity to play with some of the world’s best known golf players and representing my very own country. “
“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where I showed my game on another level. I may not have the gold, but I am bringing home with me the pride of knowing that I did my best for the country.
Thank you to everyone who supported us throughout this event. Daghang salamat National Golf Association of The Philippines!,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chinese Taipei’s Chien-Yao Hung secured the bronze with a final score of 264 after shooting an impressive 69. Carl Corpus secured the 33rd spot with a total score of 287, while Ira Alido tied for 37th with a total score of 289.
Despite a commendable effort, the Philippine men’s team concluded the competition in ninth place with a 20-under 844 after a tough final round.
The gold in the men’s team event was clinched by Korea with a remarkable 76 under 788, surpassing the competition by a staggering 25 strokes. Thailand secured the silver with a score of 813, while Hong Kong captured the bronze with a total of 210.
In the women’s competition, Rianne Malixi displayed her resilience, birdieing two of the last four holes in an admirable frontside finish. Although she concluded with a solid 71, she fell just short of securing a Top 10 finish. The individual gold was claimed by Thai golfer Arpichaya Yubol, who staged an impressive comeback from a seven-shot deficit to secure the coveted medal with a closing 68.
Despite the absence of medals, Malixi expressed satisfaction with her performance over the four days. She relished the opportunity to compete against some of the best players in the region, drawing valuable lessons and experience from the event.
On the team front, Thailand mirrored the Philippines’ feat, sweeping the gold in the women’s division with a total score of 34-under 542, beating the Koreans by a margin of four. China secured the bronze with a total of 552. Unfortunately, the two-player Philippine women’s team did not figure in the medal race as Lois Kaye Go missed the cut.
While medals eluded the Philippine golfers this time around, their determined and commendable performance showcased their potential on the regional stage. They return home with valuable experience and lessons that will undoubtedly serve them well in future competitions.