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    Rookie player Gialon displays steely nerves, upends fancied rivals

    Nov 16, 2012
    Zanie Boy Gialon with wife Mercy and daughter Zyrra Messabella after bagging the ICTSI Canlubang golf crown.

    ZANIE Boy Gialon annexed his second victory in his rookie season, beating Elmer Saban by three with a closing four-under 68 for the ICTSI Canlubang Golf Invitational crown at Cangolf’s north course Friday.

    Pouncing on his rivals’ shaky start, Gialon turned what was expected to be a down-to-the-wire finish into a virtual cruise, hitting five birdies against a bogey for a 33-35 output and a 54-hole haul of eight-under 208,

    That’s three shots ahead of Saban, who made a 71-211, and five over second round leader Jhonnel Ababa, who cracked with a 74 and wound up with a 213.

    Gialon pocketed the P200,000 top purse, his second on the ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour after edging Order of Merit frontrunner Tony Lascuna in a playoff to capture his maiden victory in the rain-shortened ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic last July.

    “I just played my game and didn’t put much pressure on myself. I didn’t expect to win this but I hit my drives quite well and had a solid iron game,” said the 22-year-old Gialon, a former mainstay of the ICTSI amateur squad of Bong Lopez.

    Saban settled for the runner-up honors worth P120,000, while Ababa, the top ICTSI-PGT player last year with three-leg victories, remained winless this season as he finished a joint third with Jay Bayron and Cassius Casas in the 15-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. and sponsored by ICTSI.

    Christopher delos Santos shot one of the tournament-best 66s to snatch solo sixth place at 214, while Rufino Bayron fired the other six-under card to tie Robert Pactolerin, who matched par 72, at seventh with 215s.

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    Mhark Fernando, winner of the last leg in Calatagan, Batangas, fired a 68 to finish tied for ninth with ICTSI John Hay leg winner Marvin Dumandan, who made a 70, Jerson Balasabas, who wavered with a 74, at 216.

    Frankie Minoza also failed to make any charge and settled for a 72, ending up in joint 17th with five others, including low amateur Kenneth Kano, who shot a 71, with 219 heading to the final leg at Wack Wack next month where the newly-crowned Japan Seniors Open champion reigned last year.

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    Zanie Boy Gialon with wife Mercy and daughter Zyrra Messabella after bagging the ICTSI Canlubang golf crown.
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