Golden golfers want rewards donated

The Philippines' golf champions (from right) Yuka Saso, Lois Kaye Go and Bianca Pagdanganan. (Raul Gold photo)

The Philippine Women’s Golf Team members who won three gold medals in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta last month on Wednesday asked the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) to donate the reward money it is giving to them for the development of other Filipino golfers.

Yuka Saso, who won two gold medals for ruling the women’s individual and team golf contest of the Asian Games, is expecting P9.3 million cash reward for her feat. Bianca Pagdanganan is expected to get P2.5 million as part of the team champions and for winning a bronze medal. Lois Kaye Go is getting a P2 million bonus also from the team champions’ pot.

Bones Floro, secretary general of NGAP, relayed the statement of the three champions as follow:

We would like to thank each and every Filipino who supported us during the recently concluded 2018 Asian Games. The greatest honor for any athlete is to represent his or her country in international competition, and we hope that we were able to display the Filipino’s inherent talent and determination through our efforts. Indeed, this was our source of inspiration throughout the tournament.

President Duterte, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Siklab Atleta Pilipinas Sports Foundation and Ambassador Wee have all generously offered us monetary incentives for our victories. We believe that this is borne out of a sincere and honest desire to help Filipino athletes, and to rightfully reward them for bringing distinction to the country. Accordingly, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the kind officials who made these incentives possible.

Due to immutable circumstances, however, we are unable to accept any and all forms of financial reward. At present, two of us are actively playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States, with the third, soon to follow. We will automatically lose our amateur status the moment we keep these incentives, as well as the opportunity to continue representing the Philippines in the future.

We unanimously agreed that if it were possible to donate this money to support the national golf program – and thus help other aspiring golfers reach their goals – this would be the best scenario for us. After consulting the world golf governing body, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, we were advised that this was a viable option. We are thus confident that the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) will allocate these resources in a prudent, equitable, and ideal manner, consistent with our intentions.

Once again, we thank you for all your support. Mabuhay ang Manlalarong Pilipino, at Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

p: wjg