Artemio Murakami ends victory drought
CANLUBANG, Laguna—Artemio Murakami snapped a year-long title drought in style Friday, firing a 6-under-par 66 to win the P1 million BDO Canlubang Golf Invitational by eight shots at Cangolf’s south course here.
The burly Murakami, whose last victory came in the all-Filipino Philippine Open in December last year, settled the issue with a blazing 33 on the front nine and finished with a 14-under 202 total.
“I feel like, finally my dream is coming true,” said the 32-year-old Murakami, who set up his first-ever victory in the Philippine Golf Tour with a course-record 64 in the first round.
Before the breakthrough win, Murakami’s best finish this season was joint runner-up in the ICTSI Sherwood tournament won by Elmer Salvador with the Tour’s biggest margin of 12 strokes last September.
Veteran Richard Sinfuego and Jerson Balasabas shared second at 210 after closing out with matching 68s on a course both call home.
James Ryan Lam rallied with a 69 and snatched solo fourth at 213 while Robert Pactolerin, who nipped Tony Lascuña in a four-hole playoff at ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic, and Elmer Saban shot similar 70s to share fifth place at 214.
Then came Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga and long shot Terence Macatangay, who wound up at 215 after starting the day as second and third, respectively.
Yoshinaga faded with a 76 while Ma-catangay shot a 74.
With the top P200,000 purse, Murakami moved up to No. 10 in the Order of Merit.
Zanie Boy Gialon shot a 75 for a 223 to claim low amateur honors, his third straight after topping the ICTSI Calatagan leg and the Samsung Amateur Open last month.
Peter Villaber fired a 69 and tied Anthony Fernando and Arnold Villacencio, who both had 74s, at ninth at even-par 216 in the 54-hole event backed by MJ Carr Golf Management, Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Unilab, Titleist, Sharp, Custom Clubmakers, Mizuno, PinoyGolfer.com, Inquirer Golf, A Round of Golf, Studio 23, Balls, and Dynamic Sports.
Mark Fernando and Jonel Ababa, two of the fancied players earlier tipped to contend for the crown owing to their familiarity with the course, proved disappointments this time.
Fernando carded a 75 and ended up in joint 15th at 218 while Ababa, winner of two of the last three legs of the circuit, hobbled with a 77 and wound up in 34th with a 224 total.
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