Justin Quiban overcomes two late bogeys to rule Luisita stop of PGT Asia

JUSTIN Quiban finally broke through after two final round fold-ups, this time playing pressure-free with a huge lead, posting a three-stroke victory in the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open at the Luisita Golf and Country Club.

Not even two bogeys in the last four holes for a closing 72 could spoil the 21-year-old shotmaker’s run to a Philippine Golf Tour Asia title, banking on the five-shot cushion he had built in the first 54 holes spiked by 66 and 67 in the middle rounds.

He parred the first 11 holes and remained four ahead of Joenard Rates, then birdied Nos. 12 and 14 before dropping shots on Nos. 15 and 18 for a 275 total.

“I am lost for words,” said Quiban, who pocketed US$17,500 (Around P880,000).

“I did not expect to win this year and actually gave myself another year or two before breaking through.”

He flubbed at least seven birdie putts in the first 11 holes, enabling the rest, including Rates, to stay in the hunt.

“When I saw the leaderboard, I told myself to keep up with them, I need to knock down birdies,” added Quiban, who tapped in on No. 12 and rolled in a 15-footer on the 14th to settle the issue.

“I knew they won’t give it (title) to me on a silver platter. And I’m thankful my game held sway today,” said Quiban, who also came through with a scrambling par on the 17th after a shaky drive that all but dashing whatever Rates had hoped for a comeback.
Rates fought back from six down to within three after No. 16, carding a 69 and a 278. He received $11,500.

Clyde Mondilla birdied the opening hole but the reigning Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion went on a roller-coaster ride, hitting three more birdies but stumbling with the same number of bogeys. He wound up with a 71 for a 279, ending up tied for third with Jay Bayron, who rallied with a 66, and Jhonnel Ababa and Swede Oskar Arvidsson, who both carded 69.

Thailand’s Natchanon Varapornkittirat shot a 70 and shared seventh place at 281 with Elmer Salvador, who turned in a 71.

Kris Etter fired a 68 and tied Marvin Dumandan and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who carded identical 69s, at ninth at 282.

Quiban is the fifth winner in the circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Piliipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. after Miguel Tabuena at Southwoods, Rene Menor at Splendido, Mondilla at Riviera and Tony Lascuña at Wack Wack.


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