Ira Alido tries to hold off big guns in final round
Ira Alido will be looking behind him to see the country’s past and present professional golf stars giving him chase.
After shooting an eagle-aided five-under-par 67 on Thursday, the young Alido took a one-shot lead over the veritable who’s who in the local scene as the Philippine Golf Tour’s (PGT) P2-million ICTSI Luisita Championship winds down in humid Tarlac.
Frankie Miñoza, the revered champion from Bukidnon, and Miguel Tabuena, the defending champion taking time off from the Asian Tour, are breathing down Alido’s neck together with Mars Pucay just a stroke behind, with Angelo Que, the ex-PH Open champ, just four shots back going into the final 18 holes on Friday.
“I’m very confident with the way I’m playing,” said Alido, who is seeking a second PGT title in a career that started last year, after a 32-35 effort highlighted by a 220-yard second shot with a 3-iron to within 15 feet for that eagle at the tough ninth hole.
He will take a 198 aggregate into the final round with Miñoza (71), Tabuena (69) and Pucay (68) lurking.
Miñoza cracked par for the third straight round like Alido, and the multititled 63-year-old wants to look at the final round without expecting much from himself.
“I’m feeling very, very tired. But one more round and we will see what can happen,” said Miñoza. “Experience-wise, I have the edge. I just hope I still have some left in the tank for the final round.”
Tabuena, meanwhile, had three birdies in the back nine to zoom into contention, while Pucay wielded a hot putter on the way to five birdies in a 33-35 round.