Mondilla tabs breakthru win
CLYDE Mondilla closed out with a three-under-par 69 yesterday and finally broke through as a pro, ruling the ICTSI Canlubang Invitational by four shots over Cassius Casas and three others at the tree-lined North layout in Laguna.
Mondilla, the Bukidnon campaigner whose work ethic has been likened to that of his idol Frankie Miñoza, played his first 10 holes at three under to all but wrap up his maiden victory. He picked up P270,000 with a 275 total.
The victory also erased memories of Mondilla’s sudden-death playoff loss to Casas last year as the former Philippine Open champion, despite cracking par for the fourth straight round with a 71, finished with a second-best 279 tally like Marvin Dumandan, Dante Becierra and Arnold Villacencio.
Dumandan and Becierra fired 69s, while Villacencio, who was seeking to win a second straight title after conquering a stronger field at Summit Point in Lipa City, will look back at his opening 76 for the loss. He shot a 71.
“It’s really nice to finally get over the hump,” said Mondilla, who was nurtured by the Del Monte program like Miñoza in his teens. “I hope that this marks the start of something big in my career.”
Sherwood leg champion Charles Hong fired a second straight 71 for 281.
Jessie Balasabas, bogey-free over the first two rounds where he shot 66-67, ballooned to a 74 and wound up in a seventh-place tie with Micah Shin, at 282. Shin fired a 70.
Robert Pactolerin, the 54-year-old veteran, matched par to finish at 283, along with Michael Bibat and Royal Northwoods winner Zanie Boy Gialon, who shot 71 and 74, respectively, for 284 that rounded out the Top 10.
Musong R. Castillo