CLYDE Mondilla came up with a closing 66 and a one-stroke victory in the US$60,000 ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championships on Saturday in Carmona, Cavite.
Mondilla battled back from three shots down and wound up at 22-under 266, edging Miguel Tabuena and Tony Lascuña
“I’m so happy to beat our top two players but I learned a lot from them,” said Mondilla, who hit four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 11, turning a two-stroke deficit into a two-shot edge. He preserved a one-stroke lead after that late bogey mishap with clutch pars to wrap up the crown, worth US$10,500 (around P520,000).
Tabuena and Lascuna birdie chances on the 18th from just about the same distance – nine feet – enabling Mondilla to clinch the victory with a routine par.
Lascuña ended up with a 67 while Tabuena, had a closing a 70 for 267.
Key for Mondilla was a huge drive on the par-4 No. 11 that left him with a 40-yard pitch for an eagle that lipped out.
“I knew then that I could beat them with my power but it also helped that both of them missed a couple of birdie putts in the closing holes,” added Mondilla, who racked up three victories last year to finish behind Lascuña in the Order of Merit.
That tap-in birdie sparked a birdie run, with a four-footer on No. 12 and back-to-back birdies inside seven feet from No. 14.
Long-hitting Orlan Sumcad rallied with a 65 to take fourth place at 270, while Elmer Salvador placed fifth at 271 after a 68.
Zanieboy Gialon fired a 67 for a 272, while Mhark Fernando and Macedonia’s Peter Stojanovski carded 79s to share seventh place at 273.
Nicolas Paez and Justin Quiban finished tied for ninth at 274s after a 70 and 66, respectively, in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by backed by ICTSI, BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.