No stopping fiery Frankie
Miñoza also rules at Pueblo
FRANKIE Miñoza put the finishing touches to another dominant performance with a bogey-free 5-under-par 67 yesterday to win the ICTSI Pueblo De Oro Championship by five shots over Elmer Salvador in Cagayan de Oro.
Flawless to a fault, Miñoza became the first player this year to win back-to-back legs in the circuit—and this one was done in wire-to-wire style with a 54-hole 198 tally.
He rallied from five shots down to also win by five at Del Monte in Bukidnon last week.
Miñoza’s closing effort left everyone in awe, most especially Angelo Que, the multileg winner on the Asian Tour who started the day just four shots off and finished six down after a 69.
“Frankie was really hot,” Que told the Inquirer. “I’ve seen a lot of players play in the zone, but this one was special because it was up close. He did not hit it that well (yesterday), but his putting and short game were superb.
“Bow down ako. He (Miñoza) truly is the living legend of Philippine golf,” Que added. “Did I come close (in the final round)? I didn’t even come close to coming close.”
Salvador matched Miñoza’s 67 and finished runner-up for the second straight week at 203, even as Marvin Dumandan fired a 66 and Orlan Sumcad a 68 for joint fourth at 207.
Guido Van Der Valk of the Netherlands was the best-placed foreigner, firing a 65 for 209 and solo seventh at 209, just a stroke off Rufino Bayron, who carded a 71.
Antonio Lascuña and Benjie Magada fired a 70 and 72, respectively, for 211, with Jessie Balasabas, Mars Pucay and Charles Hong rounding out the top 10 at 212 after shooting 69, 70 and 72, in that order.
It was also the third victory this year for the 53-year-old Miñoza, counting his playoff win in the rich The Country Club Invitational crown in Laguna.
Together with his opening 67 and a solid second-round 64, Miñoza tallied an 18-under total—perhaps the lowest 54-hole card in the tour’s five-year history.
Miñoza played his last two tournaments at 31 under par, breaking par in all six rounds. His highest scores were a couple of 70s that came in the first two rounds at Del Monte.
Part of that streak was the title-clinching bogey-free 63 on the final day at Del Monte.
The Pueblo de Oro tournament was backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf, Great Depot and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.
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