ELMER Salvador ended a year-long title drought as he retained the ICTSI Riviera Classic crown, holding off Miguel Tabuena and two others on Saturday at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite.
Salvador had a wobbly start but came through with gutsy pars in the closing holes for a closing 71 and a an eight-under 276 total to bag P270,000.
“I’m very happy to win again here. The course was tough but I was thankful to have regained my form the last three days,” said Salvador.
Tabuena shot a 66 for a 278 and wound up in joint second with Bayron, who shot a 67, and Lascuña, who carded a 68. The three shared the combined prize of P375,000.
Seven strokes behind at the start of the final round, Tabuena moved to within one but failed to sustain his charge and bogeyed the tricky par-3 17th.
Lascuña hit an eagle on No. 10 and birdies on Nos. 15 and 17, while Bayron eagled the par-5 16th.
Clyde Mondilla scored a 73 and finished alone in fifth place at 281 to bag P68,500, while Jay Bayron fired a 67 for sixth at 284.
Zanieboy Gialon posted a tournament-best 64, hitting by four straight birdies from No. 13, to finish in joint seventh at 285 with Frankie Minoza, who made a 72.
Mars Pucay had a 73 and ended up ninth at 286, while Paul Echavez shot a 70 and finished 10th at 287 in the seventh leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I knew Miguel and Rufino were closing in but I just stay focused and told myself to make the most of my birdie chances or go for pars,” said Salvador.
Last year’s top amateur Japanese Yuto Katsuragawa matched par 71 and wound up tied for 14th with Korea’s Seok Jun Min, who fumbled with a 75.