TARLAC – Clyde Mondilla checked a season-long slump with a big victory in the final leg of this year’s Philippine Golf Tour, outdueling Peter Stojanovski and Jay Bayron down the stretch to nail the ICTSI Luisita Invitational crown with a closing 67 on Friday.
Mondilla saved his best for last, coming through with clutch shots and putts including a birdie on the par-5 16th to surge ahead. He held on to the finish as Stojanovski blew his bid with a wet bogey at Luisita’s No. 17 hole.
Not even a bogey on the closing par-4 hole could stymie Mondilla’s title claim as he finished with an 18-under 270 total for a two-stroke victory as Stojanovski also closed out with a bogey for a 70 and a 272 total.
“There was pressure and Peter just wouldn’t give up until the last two holes. But I was able to play solid and my putting clicked,” said Mondilla, referring to his decisive four-birdie binge inside six feet in a five-hole stretch from No. 12 that keyed his stirring fightback from two down with eight holes left.
Mondilla, who missed a number of tournaments early in the season due to injury and could finish no better than 10th in Iloilo, averted going winless in the season after ruling four tournaments on his way to bagging the 2017 PGT Order of Merit crown. He received the top P750,000 purse from PGT executive director Narlene Soriano.
“I played good except in the last two holes. It’s quite frustrating to see things fall apart when the game was on the line,” said Stojanovski, “Clyde played remarkable. He’s tough and he deserved the win.”
Aussie Tim Stewart rallied from five down to fire a day’s-best 65 and tied Stojanovski at second worth P382,500 each while Bayron lost steam and also bogeyed the 17th to lwind up with a 70. He dropped to fourth at 273 and pocketed P220,000.
Arnold Villacencio also fought back with a 67 to snare fifth at 278 while Zanieboy Gialon carded a 70 to tie Tony Lascuña, who matched par 72, at sixth at 280.
Joenard Rates and Japanese Issei Mori both shot 69s and wound up tied at eighth at 281 while Gerald Rosales also fired a 70 to share 10th place with Reymon Jaraula, who turned in a 71, at 282 at the close of the PGT season that featured 10 legs, including three each in Visayas and Mindanao.
Other backers of the circuit are Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.