Breakthrough win for Saban | Inquirer Sports

Breakthrough win for Saban

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 02:33 AM October 12, 2013

TAGAYTAY—Elmer Saban drained a clutch four-footer for par on the 54th hole yesterday to hold off Cassius Casas and win the ICTSI Splendido Classic—his breakthrough victory as a pro.

Saban, a former caddy at Apo Golf who has had little luck in his seven years of playing for money, closed out with a two-under-par 70 for 208 and denied Casas another chance to rekindle lost glory at the ravine-laden layout here.

Casas carved out a 71, while Dante Becierra recorded his best finish in the professional ranks at third after a 70 and 210.

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Former Philippine Open champion Gerald Rosales and Jang Han-mil of South Korea tied for fourth spot at 211 after shooting a 69 and a 72, respectively.

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“I was so nervous when I faced that putt,” the Saban said in Filipino. “A playoff would have given Cassius a second chance.”

Saban started the day tied with Casas for the lead, but peeled away by four in the front nine only to lose steam coming home as Casas, the former PH Open champion who has been winless since 2010, came within one after a birdie on the 17th.

Casas had just 220 yards for his second shot on the par-5 18th, but misjudged his length as he went for the green with a 3-wood, overshooting the mark terribly.

The win was worth P200,000 for Saban, a talented 36-year-old who hits the ball as long as anyone can in the field. But Saban said the key to his win was his creativity around the greens.

“It became a pitch-and-putt contest when the rains fell,” Saban said.

Benjie Magada fired a day-best 68 and finished in a sixth-place tie with Jay Bayron and Rey Pagunsan at 212, who both fired a 73.

Micah Shin was ninth at 213 after a 70 while Marvin Dumandan returned a 69 and finished in a 10th-place tie with Miguel Tabuena (72), Tomo Yoshinaga of Japan (72), Guido Van der Valk of the Netherlands (73), and Samuel Cyr of the US (75) for 214s.

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TAGS: Cassius Casas, Elmer Saban, Golf, ICTSI Splendido Classic

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