By Jika Dalupan
WGAP Corner (Inquirer Golf Magazine)
Have you witnessed any of the tournaments held by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines? If so, you must have noted the high energy level and constant chatter amongst the players from the beginning until the end of the event.
But did you know that there is a presence that can silence the chatter and strike fear in the hearts of the players? Yup, it’s the presence of no other than the certified Rules Official of WGAP – Cora Suntay.
Cora, more popularly known as Corsun, is instrumental in shaping the local women’s amateur golf scene, having been part of WGAP since its inception in 1971. Corsun began her love affair with golf in the 1960s and she has taken her commitment to the game to the next level by becoming a rules woman – a role which requires proficiency in the Rules of Golf and officiating techniques. In a typical WGAP tournament, Corsun can be found roving the course, ready to respond and interpret the rules to anyone requiring her assistance. Corsun’s guidance and fairness in applying the rules has earned her the respect of the WGAP members and, to this day, she continues to serve the organization as adviser to the WGAP Board of Directors.
I recently chatted with Corsun and here is her take on some questions I managed to ask her, despite her protestations on being featured in this column — being an introvert at heart!
1. What made you interested in golf?
My whole family played golf. My father believed in the family that plays together, stays together.
2. How long have you been playing and what encourages you to continue doing so?
I have been playing the sport since the 1960s. Played with my Dad every morning. And since it’s the least high impact sport from the 2 other sports I played, I continue playing it to this day.
3. How easy or difficult is it being a golf rules(wo)man? How did you become one?
It is quite difficult to be a rules person. The player always refuses to accept their infractions, so you get the ire of the player and the team. And most often than not, the infractions committed are not in the rule book.
I learned the rules of golf through my mistakes while playing it and was slapped with penalties under the then rules person, Ditas Valdes. I try to update myself with the rules since. Ditas took me under her wings, and I joined the rules seminars given by R&A and the seminars given by RPGA (then) twice. I also worked with the rules team of the Volvo Open in HongKong for the experience.
4. What’s your most memorable experience in WGAP?
An audience with then President Cory Aquino in Malacañang, with the WGAP Board and the
whole Queen Sirikit Cup participants. It was held in Manila in 1997.
WGAP was able to bring for two years in a row the Asian Kosaido Ladies Circuit played in Sta. Elena Golf Club under the sponsorship of Toyota. This is the circuit that the LPGA players participated in during the winter months. So, the Filipino ladies got to see professional players and realised there is life after amateur golf after all.
5. What do you think sets Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan apart from other local women golfers?
What sets them apart, I think, is their dedication to the sport. You will not see any other player who will still practice after their game. You will see Yuka practicing on the putting green till nightfall.
6. What role did WGAP play in the development of Yuka and Bianca as professional players today?
WGAP gave the chance for these players to hone their game by providing them with topnotch tournaments, like the Philippine Ladies Open, Queen Sirikit Cup, and the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific, where they get a chance to play with top players of other countries.
7. Any message of encouragement for the women golfers and those thinking of taking up the sport?
This is a hard call to answer specially with our present situation. We need the help from our government, the golf sport association, and the support of the parents. If a player thinks she has the capabilities to go the length to attain her goal, then she needs diligence, discipline, and perseverance to achieve this. It is a long road to reach the top but if you earn it, it is every player’s dream!
Our caps off to you, Corsun! May you continue to inspire generations of Filipina golfers to come.