ANGELO Que pounced on the frontrunners’ meltdown in scorching heat and tremendous pressure, stroking his way to a dramatic finish with a new course record eight-under 64 to rule the ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational on Saturday at Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club in Morong, Bataan.
Que solved the Seaside Nine puzzle that stymied his third round charge, ramming in six birdies, including four straight to close out a sizzling backside charge of 30 that lifted him from sixth place, six behind Jay Bayron, to the winner’s podium with a nine-under 279 total.
Not only did Que, a three-time Asian Tour winner who went winless last year, erased the course record 66 posted by young Micah Shin, he bagged the top prize of P650,000 to regain the top spot in the money list with a P1.572 million total after five legs of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
“It was a perfect game. Everything was in place, including my irons and putting,” said Que, who received the check and trophy from event manager Luigi Tabuena and Anvaya Golf operations manager Steve McDonald during awards rites.
Tony Lascuna rallied to within one with birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 but blew his bid with back-to-back bogeys on the closing holes, finishing with a 71 for second at 282 worth P430,000.
Cassius Casas, the third man in the final group, remained in the hunt and was two-under card through 15 holes but wavered at the finish with two bogeys in the last three holes for a 72 and ended up third at 284 worth P240,000.
Que, who preserved a bogey-free round by saving pars in three times that he went out of regulation, hardly loomed as a threat despite birdies on Nos. 3 and 6. But back-to-back birdies from No. 10, including a 30-footer on the 11th, sparked hopes of a big comeback for the big-hitting shotmaker, who after three pars from No. 12, ripped it off with four straight birdies.
He thus became the first player to win on the two-year old layout carved out in the Bataan mountains near the boundary of former US naval base in Subic and built inside the 470 hectares land owned by the Ayala Land Corp. where long-time golf patron operates his container business.
It was also his second win in the young season after holding off Miguel Tabuena at the ICTSI Manila Masters at Eastridge Golf Club last month.
While Que basked in glory from a flawless game, Bayron rued his backside meltdown.
“I just had a bad game and unluckily, it came in the final nine holes of the final round,” said Bayron. “But that’s golf, it’s all about consistency.”
With Bayron falling with a thud with a closing 44 and a 79, Lascuna took the challenger’s role, gunning down birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 to threaten with one off Que, who was cooling down at the clubhouse after that scorching 64.
Mars Pucay rallied with a 68 and Tabuena fought back with a 70 as they shared fourth place at 286 and split the combined purse of P350,000. Jay Bayron tumbled to joint sixth at 288 after that 79 with brother Rufino Bayron and Frankie Minoza, who carded 70 and 72, respectively. Each got P116,666.