Late 2-shot swing nets Mondilla crown

Manila Bulletin - - Mindanao News - Clyde Mondilla beams as he holds his tro­phy yes­ter­day af­ter rul­ing the ICTSI Riviera Clas­sic crown of the PGT Asia Tour.

SILANG, Cavite – Clyde Mondilla sur­vived a dis­as­trous melt­down and bucked Tom Kim’s fiery charge at the back, bang­ing in a clutch birdie on No. 16 to hack out a two-stroke vic­tory over the Korean am­a­teur and Michael Bi­bat with a clos­ing 67 in the $100,000 ICTSI Riviera Clas­sic here yes­ter­day.

Mondilla wiped out an overnight two-stroke deficit with a solid five­un­der 30 start but blew a five-shot lead at the back, en­abling Kim to draw level on No. 13 on an ea­gle-spiked rally. They traded pars in the next two holes be­fore Mondilla birdied the 16th from close range then watched his young ri­val suc­cumb to pres­sure, hit­ting a cou­ple of sloppy wedge shots on the par-5 hole and hol­ing out with a bo­gey.

That cru­cial two-shot swing ended what had ap­peared to be another tight fin­ish rem­i­nis­cent of Rene Menor’s record six-hole play­off vic­tory over Thai Pasavee Lertvi­lai at ICTSI Splen­dido Clas­sic as Mondilla matched Kim’s par-bo­gey windup to cruise to two-shot romp on a 72-hole to­tal of nine-un­der 275.

“I’m thank­ful my driv­ing and putting clicked when I needed them most,” said Mondilla, who banked the top $17,500 purse in this third leg of the in­au­gu­ral PGT Asia Tour put up by ICTSI and or­ga­nized by Pilip­inas Golf Tour­na­ments, Inc.

The vic­tory also erased the stigma of his play­off set­back to Jay Bay­ron here in the ICTSI Philip­pine Golf Tour leg last year.

“I re­ally wanted to win this tour­na­ment af­ter los­ing to Jay (Bay­ron) in sud­den death last year. I waited for one year to re­deem my­self and I’m so happy to have pulled it off,” said Mon- dilla, who opened his bid here with a solid 65 only to reel back with medi­ocre 71-72 out­puts in tough con­di­tion in the mid­dle rounds.

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