ELMER Salvador became the first player to repeat as champion on the Asian Development Tour, edging Angelo Que by one with a closing three-under 69 at the Cebu Country Club on Saturday to win the Aboitiz Invitational for the second consecutive year.
Salvador escaped with the win after missing the green off a fairway trap on the par-4, 360-yard No. 18 as Que eyed an eagle from 90 yards off a monster drive.
“My gameplan was to play it a bit cautious given a tough rival in Que and the playing condition. Kailangan talaga mag-ingat,” said Salvador, who came up with a clutch birdie on the 17th that gave him a three-shot cushion heading to the final hole.
Salvador wound up with a 12-under 276 and pocketed $11,375 (around P490,000), becoming the first player to retain a crown on the four-year-old ADT. He beat Tony Lascuña by six here last year. Jay Bayron ruled the first two editions of the event, when it was still not part of the ADT calendar.
“You should be thankful I didn’t make an eagle. Otherwise we’d still be out in the fairway,” Que told Salvador.
Que settled for a 71 and a 277 total worth $7,4675.
“Not bad – one win, one second and one third,” said Que, the Asian Tour campaigner who rejoined the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour only last May and won the Orchard Championship. He also placed third in the Pueblo de Oro Championship won by Frankie Miñoza two weeks ago.
Carl Santos-Ocampo rallied with a 69 to snatch third place at 280 worth $4,450 while Englishman Ian Keenan shot a 71 and finished tied for fourth at 282 with Korean Park Il-Hwan and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who both had 72s.
First round leader Brian Locke of the US fired a 69 for a 283 to tie Miguel Tabuena, who carded a 70, and Charles Hong, who turned in a 71.
Johvanie Abaño (68), Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela (69), Canadian Lindsay Renolds (70), Aussie Michael Moore (71), England’s Peter Richardson (71), Anthony Fernando (73) and Tony Lascuña (73), ended up tied for 10th at 284.
Bracing for a shootout with Que after yielding the halfway lead Friday, Salvador fell behind by two when Que birdied the opening hole. But he hit four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 3 to wrest control, while Que dropped three strokes in the last five holes at the front and fell behind by five.
Salvador gave Que a chance for a comeback with a shaky back nine.
He bogeyed the 10th, hit a birdie on No. 14 only to drop another shot on the 15th, while Que gunned down a birdie on the 11th and 16th to pull within two. Salvador came through with a clutch birdie on the 17th for that big three-shot cushion heading to the final hole of the eighth leg of the ICTSI-PGT sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., presented by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW.