CEBU CITY—Elmer Salvador became the first repeat champion on the Asian Development Tour yesterday, pulling away from Angelo Que by five shots at the turn then holding on to win the Aboitiz Invitational Championship by a stroke with a closing 3-under-par 69 at Cebu Country Club here.
The 43-year-old Salvador ruled the $65,000 event again despite a bogey on the final hole that left him with a 12-under total of 276 as Que, the third round leader, came back from a 38 on the front nine by shooting three of his four birdies coming home to finish with a 71.
Carl Santos-Ocampo fired a 69 and was third at 280 with Englishman Ian Keenan shooting a 71 and Korea’s Park Il-hwan and Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk pooling 72s to tie for fourth at 282.
Salvador, who beat Tony Lascuña by six in summer rules last year, bagged the $11,375 (around P490,000) top prize in becoming the first player to retain a crown on the four-year ADT serving as the feeder circuit to the Asian Tour.
Jay Bayron also ruled the first two editions of this event sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. but the inaugural Aboitiz Invitational was still not part of the ADT calendar in 2010.
“Not bad—one win, one second and one third,” said Que, who settled for the runner-up prize of $7,475 in the event presented by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
He only rejoined the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour last May where he won the ICTSI Orchard Championship. He placed third in the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship two weeks ago.
American Brian Locke, who led in the first round, fired a 69 for a 283 to tie Miguel Tabuena, who carded a 70, and Charles Hong (71) at seventh.
Seven players—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.
Salvador, who trailed Que by one at the start of the day, picked up four shots in a five-hole span from the third, moving ahead for good with a par on the fifth hole before padding the lead to five with a front-nine 32.
Que, who used a 67 on Friday to grab the lead, actually built a two-stroke advantage with a birdie on No. 1, before Salvador pulled even for the last time after consecutive birdies from No. 3.
Salvador then moved ahead for good with a routine par 3 on the 180-yard fifth, which Que bogeyed, before draining another driver-length birdie on No. 6 and two-putting the seventh green for another and a three-shot cushion.
Que then missed the eighth and ninth greens for bogeys while Salvador escaped with a par save on No. 8 where he needed to play out backwards from the left side rough before draining what Que said was a 35-foot putt for a 4.
“That was the key, I think,” the 43-year-old Salvador told reporters in Filipino after Que gave him a mock piggy back ride. “It was a tough round because I had to play really well because it was Angelo who was giving chase.”