Mondilla hacks out 2-shot win

Tempo - - Sports -

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 ea­gle­spiked 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.

The vic­tory was the Del Monte ace’s third this year.

Bi­bat birdied two of the last six holes for a 68 and tied Kim, who ended up with an even-par 71, at se­cond at 277s. He took the run­ner-up purse of $11,500 while Kim claimed the low am­a­teur hon­ors.

Jhon­nel Ababa ral­lied with the day’s best bo­gey-free five-un­der 66 and grabbed solo fourth at 281 worth $7,000 while Las­cuña fi­nally broke par with a 69 and wrested solo fifth at 283. He took home $5,600.

CLYDE Mondilla beams as he holds his tro­phy af­ter rul­ing the ICTSI Riviera Clas­sic crown of the PGT Asia Tour.

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