Celine Abalos, a prodigious 10-year-old who took up the sport just two years ago, did the Philippines proud recently after finishing a fighting second in the US Kids Golf European Championship in the United Kingdom.
Playing the tournament for the first time, the Grade 5 student of Poveda couldn’t hold on to the lead going into her final four holes, shooting a closing three-over-par 75 to lose to the United States’ Angela Wang by a shot.
She was the lone PH representative in the multi-nation event.
Coached by Carmelette Villaroman, who also caddied for her in the 54-hole championship, Abalos failed to forge a playoff after three-putting the 18th, her par-saving putt from about four feet mercilessly lipping out.
“She gave it her best,” Benhur Abalos, Celine’s father, said. “I’m sure she will learn from this and we are very proud of the way she played.”
Celine started the final day two shots behind Wang, even taking a four-shot lead heading into the final nine holes before chilling cold and swirling winds did her in.
Wang climbed into a tie after the 14th with a par and Abalos was on the 18th green in two and needed just two putts to force extension.