Angelo Que blew a three-stroke lead with an early backside meltdown but steadied to salvage a 72 and beat Miguel Tabuena and Ferdie Aunzo by two shots to cop the ICTSI Manila Masters crown, snapping a three-year title spell at the Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, Rizal on Saturday.
Que nearly put a solid eagle-spiked 34 start to waste with bogeys in the first three holes at the back but rammed in a decisive birdie on the par-5 13th to regain control then held off Tabuena with a run of pars despite a closing 38.
The three-time Asian Tour champion, who bounced back from a mediocre start of 72 and 71 with a fiery 66 on Friday to tie Tabuena at helm, pooled a 72-hole total of seven-under 281 to nail the elusive win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour worth P650,000.
Hounded by poor putting, Tabuena went without a birdie but still stayed in the title hunt with a slew of pars at the back until he bogeyed the 17th and fell by two. He ended up with a 74 and dropped to joint second with Ferdie Aunzo, who rallied with three birdies at the back for a 69, at 283. Each got P335,000.
Elmer Salvador bettered Aunzo’s fiery backside rally with a five-under 31 to fire a 67 and salvage joint fourth with Clyde Mondilla, who moved to within one after 12 holes but reeled back with a closing 38 and a 72, at 284. They shared the combined P350,000 prize.
Reigning three-time PGT Order of Merit champion Tony Lascuna continued to grope for form for the second straight week, settling for a 72 and a share of sixth with Korean Woo Seung Bin, who wavered with a 73, at 286 worth P125,00 each while Cassius Casas and Jay Bayron shot identical 70s to finish joint eighth at even 288 with Orlan Sumcad, who carded a 71. Each received P88,833.
The victory allowed Que to settle a score against Tabuena, who beat him by one in last week’s ICTSI Splendido Classic of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. It also ended a three-year drought for the power-hitting shotmaker in a long slump marred by endgame collapses.
He appeared headed to another final round foldup when he bogeyed the first three holes at the back and lost his three-stroke lead as Tabuena, who fumbled with a 37 after nine holes, drew level with pars and Clyde Mondilla, in a flight ahead, got to within one after No. 12.
But Que made full use of his power off the tee on No. 13, setting up a birdie from close range to regain a one-stroke lead. He then matched Tabuena’s pars in the next three holes then watched his rival lose it all with a bogey on No. 17, giving the former a two-stroke lead heading to the par-5 18th, which they both parred.
Bracing for a shootout, Que jumped the gun early on Tabuena with a birdie on the first hole then went three-up with a pitch-in eagle from 20 yards on the par-5 No. 6 off a 3-iron second shot from 239 yards.