Miñoza upends Tabuena in playoff
Frankie Miñoza snapped a three-year title drought in grand style yesterday, turning back the prodigious Miguel Tabuena on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff for the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic at the layout formerly known as Marapara.
The 56-year-old veteran from Bukidnon made birdie on his fourth trip to the long 18th hole to cap a week of resurgence that saw him vault into contention with a seven-under-par 63 in the third round.
Miñoza closed out with a 67 like Tabuena for identical 265 totals after regulation as the past and present of local pro golf slugged it out in a record five-hole playoff where Minoza was at his ultimate best.
Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk, tied for the lead with Miñoza and Tabuena at the start of the day, closed out with a 69 to miss the playoff by two, settling for a tie for third with Micha Shin, who fired a 68.
“I got inspired by my solid game in the first three days,” Miñoza said after the win, which meant a lot more than the P270,000 prize that went with it.
The tour’s oldest winner also won three times as a 53-year-old in 2013.
Joenard Rates fired a 72, Orlan Sumcad assembled a 69 and Zannie Boy Gialon carved out a 67 to finish at 271.
The script for Miñoza’s victory couldn’t have been written any better, as Tabuena was using this event to hone up for an Olympic stint in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Jay Bayron, Clyde Mondilla and rookie Justin Quiban rounded out the Top 10 at 272 after shooting 72, 69 and 67, in that order. Musong R. Castillo