Menor’s record win
TAGAYTAY—Rene Menor proved steadier in a battle of nerves with Thai Pasavee Lertvilai in a record six-hole playoff and tallied his first pro victory Sunday in the ICTSI Splendido Classic.
Unable to break their tie after five trips to the 18th hole, Menor and Lertvilai agreed to transfer their duel to the par-5 No. 10, where the outcome was finally decided
The 41-year-old Menor, a former caddy and now club pro of Iloilo Golf and Country Club, drove into the hazard but found a big lift as the Thai drove out-of-bounds.
Menor took a penalty shot but had a closer approach for his third shot while Lertvilai had to tee off again from the mound, enabling the 2004 National Caddies Championship runner-up to seal the outcome with a par and pocket the top purse of $17,500 (about P890,000).
Lertvilai, the PGT Asia qualifying school topnotcher, missed an 8-footer and settled for bogey that rewarded him $11,500 in the event serving as the second leg of the PGT Asia Tour sponsored by ICTSI.
It was actually a three-man title playoff as American John Michale O’ Toole sizzled with a tournament best and course-record tying 64 to catch Menor and Lertvilai, who both carded 66, at the helm with 12-under 276 totals at the mountaintop layout in Laurel, Batangas.
“I’m very, very happy,” said Menor, who thanked his Japanese benefactor Takayuki Kozono. “I was never nervous and just played my game.”
O’Toole bowed out right in the first playoff hole on No. 18, stumbling with his first bogey in the day.
The next four trips to the closing par-4 hole failed to decide the outcome, with Lertvilai bungling a winning chance on the third when Menor landed on the bunker.
Menor clawed back from six down off third round leader Rufino Bayron in regulation and proved his mettle in the exhausting playoff that bettered Frankie Miñoza’s victory over Miguel Tabuena in the 2016 PGT Negros Occidental Classic that needed five extra holes to finish.