IT was a journey that took Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI), the official distributor of Hyundai in the Philippines, from Visayas, to Mindanao, and finally back to Luzon, in search of the best non-professional golfers to make up the three-man team that will represent the country in the World Finals of Hyundai’s first ever World Golf Championship.
Finally, last March 27, 2009, the two-week long journey of HARI, and the 19 hopefuls from North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, who vied for the chance to represent the country in Hyundai’s upcoming golf tournament, has come to a triumphant close.
Mr. Rodel Mangulabnan from North Luzon, Mr. Bernard Paquin from Mindanao, and Mr. Dante Torres also from Mindanao, hailed as overall grand champion, overall 1st runner-up, and overall 2nd runner-up, respectively, during the National Finals held at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club, have now completed the team.
Along with their talent, they carry with them the boldness to aim at victory once more and bring honor to the country.
Meet Team Philippines
Mr. Rodel Mangulabnan, a software architect who owns Net Designs, Inc., Silicon Computer and Telecoms, Inc., and two Hyundai cars to boot, specifically a Starex and Santa Fe, only ranked 1st runner-up in Class A during the North Luzon Qualifying Round.
This time around, the National Finals confirmed that he’s got more power up his sleeve, and the mental toughness to conquer the golf course.
“In any golf tournament that I participate in, I don’t really care about who I’m playing with; my aim is to beat the golf course,” said Mr. Mangulabnan.
Asked if he thinks he would be able to duplicate his victory in the World Finals, Mr. Mangulabnan replied that he can’t promise, but that he’ll do his best.
From assisting champs in acing their game, and now, to being a champ himself, the Class A Champion from Mindanao certainly knows how to play his cards, or more appropriately, his golf clubs right.
A humble caddie at the Apo Golf and Country Club, who played golf since he was nine, Mr. Bernard Paquin, now overall 1st Runner-Up, is elated at the opportunity to represent the country in the upcoming Hyundai World Golf Championship in May.
During the Mindanao Qualifying Round where he topped Class A, Mr. Paquin already expressed his high hopes for team Philippines.
“Magandang opportunity para mabigyang parangal ang Pilipinas,” said Mr. Paquin, and added, “Ang sarap ng feeling, dala mo ang Mindanao.”
For Mr. Dante Torres, a ball boy at the Apo Golf and Country Club, to be part of Team Philippines has been in his game plan all along, although he only expected to get the Top 3 slot––and he did, as he won as overall 2nd Runner-Up in the National Finals.
A Class A 1st Runner-Up during the Mindanao Qualifying Round, Mr. Torres is happy to have made it in the National Finals––and won.
“Marami ang matutuwa, family ko, and buong Apo Golf,” beamed Mr. Torres.
As Mr. Rodel Mangulabnan, Mr. Bernard Paquin, and Mr. Dante Torres ready themselves for the World Finals of the Hyundai World Golf Championship, which will be held at the Haevichi Resort in Jeju Island, Korea from May 11 to 15, HARI and the entire Philippines look forward to their possible victory that will spark renewed hope for Filipinos, knowing that in life, as with any game or sport, you win by playing with optimism and with heart. The best of luck to Team Philippines!