Gaston rules Senior golf with hot front 9
Philippine Daily Inquirer
RIDING on a front nine that no one came close to matching, Francis Gaston rallied to win the NGAP-Globe Business Philippine Senior Amateur championship by two strokes at tree-lined Camp Aguinaldo yesterday.
Gaston, the Luisita standout who also held the regular title more than two decades ago, closed out with bogeys in his last five holes and settled for a six-over-par 74 for 234 that was more than enough to turn back the burly Tony Olives for his second title.
Olives, who started the day with a two-shot lead, returned a 79 for the third straight day and tallied 237, barely hanging on for second spot after Minying Maravilla shot a 74 and Dave Hernandez a 75 for 238s.
The 74s of Gaston and Maravilla were the best of the tournament as tough pin placements and soggy conditions made the relatively short military layout one tough nut to crack.
Gaston had a birdie and two bogeys in the front nine and came out with a 36, the best by anyone in three trying days of the event also backed by Pancake House, Titleist and Golf Depot.
After scoring routine pars in his first four holes at the back, Gaston was already way out in front of Olives and no one was able to make a dent even if fatigue caught up with the eventual champion in his last five holes.
First round leader Mari Hechanova recovered somewhat from a second round 85, firing a 79 for sixth spot at 242 three strokes behind Danny Morales, who closed out with a 77. Musong R. Castillo