Bibat breaks long spell with one-shot Aoki triumph
General TRIAS, Cavite—Michael Bibat hung tough on a trying Friday, shooting a one-under-par 71 which proved enough to hold off the dogged Antonio Lascuña and snap a nine-year title drought with a one-shot victory in the P2 million ICTSI Eagle Ridge at Aoki Challenge here.
Winless since the 2013 Rancho Palos Verdes stop, Bibat used a two-shot swing on No. 13 and then watched with bated breath as Lascuña failed to rescue par on the 72nd hole for a level 72 as the former Asian Games bronze medalist won with a 278 total.
“Finally,” Bibat, who also closed out with bogey, said after getting a pat on the 18th green from Lascuña. “I’m so thankful that I played well enough to be in contention, which was my goal from the start.”
Missing a 16-foot putt for par to forge a playoff also dropped Lascuña into a share of second with Reymon Jaraula, who closed out with a 69, even as joint third round leader LJ Go blew up to a 76 after playing his final 15 holes at five-over.
“I had my chances,” Lascuña, who like Bibat plays out of Manila Southwoods, said. “But I am happy that Mike won again.”
Lascuña stepped on the 17th tee just one shot behind after birdying No. 16, only to miss the 18th green and leave himself with a long par putt after a faulty chip.
The celebrated Juvic Pagunsan finished three strokes behind Bibat after carding a 68 and catching Angelo Que at 281, with Zannie Boy Gialon, the Caliraya stop winner and joint first round leader here, checking in another shot behind after a 73, tied with Sean Ramos (71) and Orlan Sumcad (71).
Que, who shared the first round lead, also had his chances but played his final nine at 37, capped by a double bogey 6 on No. 18 for a 70.
Chihiro Ikeda, also a Southwoods mainstay, won the accompanying ladies championship of the event organized by the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. by two shots on Thursday.