NORTH and South split the second set of fourball matches to keep The Duel tied 6-6 after the morning session on Thursday at the Alabang Golf Club.
South’s Jay Bayron and Ferdie Aunzo made some clutch putts in the closing holes to edge North team skipper Angelo Que and Gerald Rosales, 2&1, but Randy Garalde notched his second straight win for the North as he teamed up with Benjie Magada to rout Marvin Dumandan and Mhark Fernando of the South, 5&3, to square things out.
The two other pairs – North’s Miguel Tabuena-Joenard Rates and Carl Santos-Ocampo-Edward Reyes halved their matches with South’s Tony Lascuna-Clyde Mondilla and Juvic Pagunsan-Rufino Bayron, respectively, and the showdown remained tied after 12 matches.
“With the way things are going, it will all boil down to the singles matches,” said Que, who took notice of Garalde and Magada’s solid game.
“The singles, I expect it to be an exciting one because everyone will play for pride,” added Que, who is coming off a victory in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship two weeks ago.
North rallied in the foursomes Wednesday to overcome a two-match deficit and force a standoff in the first day of play of the event featuring the leading players in the current ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit.
An explosive final day showdown looms with 12 singles matches set to decide which team emerges the winner in the second edition of the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by KIA, Ping, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, Pacsports, Callaway, Cleveland, FootJoy, Srixon, Titleist, Empire Golf and Sports Shop and Sharp.
The first to score 14.5 points wins the title. South took the inaugural crown last year by dominating the singles matches, winning nine to post a 16-12 victory.
South team captain Jerome Delariarte expressed no surprise with the match still tied after three matches, saying both skippers are matching up their players very well. He, however, remains hopeful of gaining an edge in the second Foursomes.
“Hopefully, we can get a slim lead after the last four team matches,” said Delariarte.