FORMER national players Tonton Asistio and Jude Eustaquio battled back from three down with four holes to go in regulation then edged Jelbert Gamolo and Jolo Magcalayo in the playoff to win the ICTSI National Pro-am Open crown at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club on Thursday in Lipa, Batangas.
Asistio hit a 7-iron from 180 yards on the par-4 18th of Mt. Malipunyo to within a foot in sudden death and Eustaquio calmly sank it to clinch the victory as Magcalayo’s tying birdie-putt from 40 feet out fell short.
“It’s great. When we compete, we’re expecting something great,” said Eustaquio whose partnership with Asistio dates way back to their junior days.
“I really have the inkling of winning here because we’ve been playing together since we were eight years old. We knew each other well,” added Eustaquio, who also teamed up with Asistio in the 2009 SEA Games in Laos.
Asistio took the P360,000 prize in his first pro win, while Eustaquio, golf director at Forest Hills, received a trophy and gift prizes from Mt. Malarayat GCC chairman Antonio Torralba.
Gamolo and Magcalayo actually came out better than second round co-leaders Raymund Gonzales and Iñigo Raymundo in a fierce final round duel, hitting back-to-back birdies from No. 13 to build a three-shot cushion over the Gonzales-Raymundo and Asistio-Eustaquio pairs.
But they stumbled and fumbled with bogeys in the next two holes and while Gonzales and Raymundo failed to cash in and settled for pars, Asistio and Eustaquio birdied the par-5 17th to salvage a 72 and force a playoff at one-over 217 total.
Gamolo and Magcalayo hobbled with a 75.
Gamolo took the P250,000 runner-up prize.
Gonzales and Raymundo bogeyed the final hole for a closing 40 and a 77, ending up third at 219 in the P2 million tournament put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. Gonzales received the P140,000 purse.
Mhark Fernando and Nico Sevilla matched par 72 to claim solo fourth at 220 while Rolando Marabe Jr. and Gary Sales also wound up with a 72 to share fifth place with the Elmer Salvador-Martin Guiang and Ramil Bisera-Jondi Quinol tandems, who both closed out with 73s.
Rico Depilo and Gabby Macalaguim sizzled with a tournament-best five-under 67 while Marvin Dumandan and two-time Philippine junior champion Tom Kim fired a 70 as they wound up tied at eighth with Benjie Magada-Carlo Quimzon, who groped for a 75, at 222 in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.