Zamboangueña junior golfer, Ashia Nocum – 2nd place at the US Veritas World Junior Golf tournament PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 11:33

Here’s good sport news from proud father and now-Manila based Zamboangueño Armand Nocum about the golf standing of his second daughter, Ashia Nocum, in the prestigious Verita World Junio Golf Tournament. Ashia was accompanied by her mother as Armand is tied up with his work commitments.

“This year, my junior golfer Ashia Marie Nocum did her best performance ever, clinching second place at the prestigious Veritas World Junior Golf tournament in San Diego and placing good spots in two other world tournaments.

This improved sports performance we credit to the good old Filipino “bayanihan” spirit from Ashia’s sponsors, our relatives and my wife Ann’s friend who all worked together to help train, inspire and support Ashia to give her very best to bring pride and honor to our poor and troubled country.

Showing much improvement from her Top 5 finish in the 2007 Callaway Junior Golf World Tournament in San Diego in 2007, Ashia this time placed second at the prestigious Veritas World Junior golf tournament at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena, California.

What pride to see the Philippine flag listed along with her name at the tournament’s leader board where she towered over equally competent junior golf players from the US and around the world.

At the Future Champions Golf Junior Masters at the Sycuan Oak Glen Golf Resort in El Cajon, California where she was pitted against 14 year old players, Ashia -- who is 13 -- bravely stood her ground to land at Top 8 post, besting players from the US, Germany, Canada, Australia, Mexico, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea and others countries.

But she struggled in her game at the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships at the Rancho Bernardo Golf and Country Club in San Diego last July 15-17 where she dropped to 47th spot in the event that gathered 113 players from all over the world.

Overall, we are happy about the results considering that this time, Ashia made it almost on her own – from “reading” and mastering the different greens and strategizing the games un-assisted by any professional golfer. You see unlike Ashia, many other players brought their coaches/professional trainers or were accompanied by parents who were excellent golfers themselves who taught their children the key strategies in mastering the difficult course and the game.

Ashia only had her mom – who plays golf but is not serious with it – to give her morale support but who cannot give her technical advice to improve her golf game. Thus, the joke in the family is that Ashia has better luck being accompanied by her mom and not her dad. She appears to perform better without me.

However, the truth of the matter is that while I am not around, Ashia this time got better support and assistance from sponsors, relatives and friends who served as the real “game-changers” to make Ashia excel in her game and thus lift the Philippine flag in the world of sports.

Chief among those who helped is local cigarette maker Mighty Corporation owned by the Wongchuking family – led by Ms. Nelia and sons Caesar and Alex – who provided Ashia the necessary and expensive golf training that she never got before since she started playing golf at six years old.

Taking her under the wings of the Mighty Sports Team, the Wongchuking family – for whom I worked as public relations and communications consultant – provided Ashia with an excellent professional golf trainer in the person of Coach Chris Guerrero of the Golf Mix Team. A US-trained golf professional, Chris did the crucial role of helping Ashia improve her “mental game,” short game and putting before Ashia left for the US.

Coach Chris complemented the training Ashia got from fellow golf professional Juanito Pagunsan, father of golfing great Juvic.

Since golf is such an expensive sports and the month-long US trip can cost and arm and a leg, present and former public relations clients of my firm Dean and King Communications also chipped in to help. They include Wellex Group Chair William Gatchalian, San Roque Mining Incorporated (SRMI), the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (Pagcor) under Chair and CEO Christino Naguiat, the Mighty Sports Team; listed company Jolliville Holdings (JOH) Chair Jolly Ting; Jaime Dichavez and Johnny Sy; Solar Sports Chair William Gatchalian; airport concessionaire Little Vin-Vin head Simon Wong; real estate mogul Mariano Nocom; and Tao Corp. Chair and CEO Julio Sy Jr.

US-based relatives and friends also contributed invaluable support. They include Ann’s former classmate and Siasi townmate Lex D. Flores Julain and her family who were there to help Ann and Ashia right from the time they arrived July 4 and who accompanied and brought them to some of the golf courses as well as provided them strong family support.

Then there were my Aunties Estrella Torres and Esther Natividad Saavedra, my cousin Georgie Murillo and family who visited Ann and Ashia in their hotel and later took them to the airport when they finally flew back to the Philippines.

Sister-in-law Gemma Rubete, my nephew Richard Nocum and their family also visited Ann and Ashia to show family support.

All of these sponsors, clients, relatives and friends coming together contributed to Ashia’s improved performance in the junior golf world stage.

Normally, as a father, I take credit for my kid’s accomplishments. But this time, the credit for Ashia’s good showing in the world of international sports goes to all these sponsors, clients, relatives, golf coaches and friends who all came together to help make this poor and trouble country stand up proud in the world stage.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

By: Dante Corteza