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.
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.