Red-hot Ocampo blows ’em away

Rules ICTSI-Midlands with 2nd straight 65

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CARL Santos-Ocampo was on target all day again yesterday, closing with a second successive 7-under-par 65 to win the ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge by six strokes over Antonio Lascuña at the scenic vacation complex.

The 25-year-old Santos-Ocampo birdied four of his first six holes in a sizzling start and then picked up three more shots on his last nine to score the followup to his maiden tour title almost a year after his victory at Rancho Palos Verdes.

Together with his opening 70, Santos-Ocampo tallied a 16-under 200 total for the top purse of P200,000. He played his last 36 holes bogey-free.

Lascuña, the reigning ICTSI Tour Order of Merit champion who lay one shot off Santos-Ocampo overnight, couldn’t keep in step with the scorching-hot leader, his respectable 70 giving him a second straight runner-up finish at 206, worth P120,000.

“It’s an amazing feeling to get the job done against the top Filipinos on the Asian Tour,” said Santos-Ocampo.

Teen wonder Miguel Tabuena rallied with a 68 and caught obscure Randy Garalde in a third-place tie, a stroke behind Lascuña. Garalde, a veteran still searching for his first win as a pro, returned a 70.

Jay Bayron closed out with a 71 for 209, with Michael Bibat, whose first win came just over a month ago at Palos Verdes, shooting a 70 for 210.

The veteran Marvin Dumandan cracked par for the second straight day, firing a 68 to tie three others—Elmer Salvador (73), Rey Pagunsan (73) and Villamor pro Nilo Salahog (72)—in seventh place at 211.

“He hit it so solid today,” Lascuña said of Santos-Ocampo, the young gun he once handled as an assistant coach to Bong Lopez in the ICTSI  amateur team.

Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW were the other backers of the event.

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