Ababa nails record PGT Asia victory
Jhonnel Ababa quashed Elmer Salvador’s early challenge then zoomed to a record seven-stroke victory with a three-under-par 69 in the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational on Saturday at the Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Salvador birdied No. 2 to go one down, but Ababa responded with a three-birdie string from No. 3 and back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 to end a dry spell since his triumph in 2014 in Sabah, Malaysia.
Counting earlier rounds of 68-71-70, the 33-year-old Ababa became the lone player to break par in all four days and with a 278 total, produced the most lopsided win thus far in the Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) Asia.
“It’s been a long while,” said Ababa, who bagged $17,500 in PGT Asia’s sixth leg. “I just played superb all week.”
Ababa made 20 birdies against 10 bogeys in the wind-raked layout to extend the Filipinos’ domination of the of circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Joenard Rates fired a 74 and placed third with a 287 total, completing a 1-2-3 finish by the Davao bets. —ROY LUARCA