CASSIUS Casas bogeyed No. 17 and settled for par on the closing hole but that was enough for a 70 and a one-stroke win in the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge on Saturday in Sta. Barbara.
Elmer Salvador flubbed birdie putts in the last two holes for a closing 68 and second place.
Casas nearly lost a three-stroke lead as ghosts of final round meltdowns visited him again, bogeying two of the first three holes on the back nine, including No. 12, which Salvador birdied to move within a stroke.
But Casas came through with a fine approach from 230 yards on the par-5 14th that landed 12 feet short off the cup, two-putting for birdie and a two-stroke lead en route to victory worth P200,000.
Salvador missed an uphill putt from 20 feet and then misread again another birdie putt from eight feet on the final hole, enabling Casas to escape with the victory on an eight-under 272 aggregate.
“It feels good to win again. I’m really hitting well this year and I hope to win at least two or three more before the season ends,” said Casas.
Salvador took home P120,000 on a 273 total.
“While my driving and iron shots were okay, I just couldn’t putt in the last three days,” said Salvador.
“It would be tough for me to win again if I couldn’t improve on my putting.”
Orlan Sumcad birdied No. 17 to fire a 69 and post his best finish in the season at third at 274 worth P65,000, while Arnold Villacencio had a 67 and tied Tony Lascuna, who carded a 68, at 275. Each took home P45,000.
Mhark Fernando and Rolando Marabe also shot 68s to share sixth place at 278 and bag P32,500 each, while Rene Menor turned in a 69 for solo eighth at 279
Benjie Magada and Jun Bernis also closed out with 68s for joint ninth with Rufino Bayron (69), Michael Bibat (69), Angelo Que (70), Ferdie Aunzo (70), Paul Vesinica (71) and Rico Depilo (71) at 280 in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc., sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, FootJoy, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Callaway, Mizuno, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Sharp and KZG.