ELMER Salvador fired a closing 68 and romped off with a five-stroke victory over Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand and Peter Richardson of England in the Asian Development Tour ICTSI Riviera Classic on Saturday in Silang, Cavite.
Salvador lost his overnight one-shot lead with a shaky start and trailed Tangkamolprasert by one after six holes, but hit three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 7 to regain control then added two more birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to secure the win.
“It’s nice to win again on ADT and I would like to believe I’m a bit lucky on this circuit. I just hope to sustain my form as the tour heads to Orchard next week,” said Salvador, the only player to finish four rounds under par with earlier scores of 69-70-66.
Salvador finished at 11-under 273, winning the top prize of US$10,500 (around P450,000).
“I just told myself not to commit so many mistakes because it’s hard to make recovery shots here at Langer. I regained my confidence after I went 2-up again after nine holes,” said Salvador, who chipped in for birdie on No. 7, banged in an eight-footer for birdie on the next and tapped in for another birdie on the 10th. He birdied No, from eight feet and then came up with a pitch-in birdie from 20 yards on the next.
Richardson fought back with a 67 to tie a faltering Tangkamolprasert, who sputtered with three bogeys in the last seven holes for a 72, at second at 278 worth $5,550 each while Miguel Tabuena rallied with four birdies in the first 13 holes but missed gaining solo second with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 17, settling for a 69 for solo fourth at five-under 279. He took home $3,360.
Robert Pactolerin, one behind Salvador in a tie with Tangkamolprasert at the start of the round, grabbed a share of the lead with a par on No. 2 but that was the closest he could get for a shot at the title as he made three straight bogeys from No. 4 and made the turn with another back-to-back bogeys.
He fought back with a 34 on the back nine and wound up with a 74, winning US$2,640 for taking solo fifth at 280, his best finish since he winning the Bacolod leg of the Philippine Golf Tour in 2011.
The ADT moves to the Orchard Golf Championship in Dasmarinas, Cavite next week.
After Salvador and Tangkamolprasert bogeyed the tough par-4 No. 2, the Thai tied Salvador at the helm with a birdie on the next and grabbed the lead with another birdie on the sixth and the Filipino ace muffing his own birdie-bid from seven feet.
But that missed putt failed to discourage Salvador. In fact, it motivated him as he birdied No. 7 to tie again then took a two-shot lead on a two-shot swing on the next with a birdie from six feet and Tangkamolprasert missed a par-putt from just about the same distance.
Tangkamolprasert birdied No. 11 to pull within one again, only to reel back with another bogey on the next and Salvador took a three-shot cushion with another birdie on No. 13.
Thai Pijit Petchkasem hobbled with a 73, while opening round leader Shubhankar Sharma of India carded a 72 to share sixth at 281 worth $2,040. Sweden’s Nils Floren ended up solo eighth at 282 after a 73 and received $1,560.
Japan’s Tomokazu Yoshinaga shot a 68 to tie Bayron, who fumbled with a 73, at ninth at 283.
Tony Lascuna closed with a 72 and finishing in joint 11th with Charles Hong (74), England’s Grant Jackson (72) and Japanese Tenka Terada (70) and Senroku Isa (68) at 285 in the tournament sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG with ABS-CBN Sports & Action, Balls and Inquirer Golf as media partners.