Mondilla saves 72, lead shrinks to two
Showing steely resolve to save a round that was getting out of hand, Clyde Mondilla gunned down three of his four birdies on the back nine to return a level-par 72 and take a two-shot lead over Dutchman Guido van Der Valk heading into the final round of the P2-million ICTSI Splendido Taal Championship in Laurel, Batangas.
The Bukindon-based long-hitter signed for a triple-bogey 8 on No. 9 and was on the verge of losing a seven-shot lead to open up the third round, but Mondilla steadied the ship somehow with a 34 coming home for a 202 aggregate as Van Der Valk rallied with an eagle-spiked 66 for 204.
“It happens,” Mondilla said of the triple-bogey that gave him a frontside 38. “At least, I’m still in the lead although it’s now a close fight.”
Antonio Lascuña cracked par for the third straight round, carving out a 69 to stay mathematically in it with a 206 going into the final 18 holes of the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Meanwhile, amateur Mafy Singson closed out with a 72 to win the accompanying P750,000 ladies championship by a shot over a trio of pros.
Singson, playing out of Manila Southwoods, tallied 215 to turn back Chanelle Avaricio (73), Harmie Constantino (71) and Sunshine Baraquiel (74). The pros split the champion’s purse with Singson disqualified from winning money.
First round men’s leader Miguel Tabuena fired a 70 to be six shots off Mondilla, whom he beat in a playoff for the Luisita title last March.
“There was pressure, but I was able to endure it,” Mondilla said of his misadventure on No. 9. “I just had a bad bounce [on the tee shot] there.”
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