Clyde Mondilla savors the sweet taste of victory.
Winless no more as Clyde Mondilla triumphs at Luisita
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - October 20, 2018 - 12:00am

TARLAC, Philippines  —   Given the last chance to avert a winless season, Clyde Mondilla seized the moment, pulling through in a gripping clash of nerves in the stretch to claim the hotly disputed ICTSI Luisita Invitational championship with a closing 67 here yesterday.

Mondilla produced clutch shots after clutch shots and drilled in key putts after key putts in searing conditions in the closing holes, including a birdie on the par-5 16th, capping a decisive four-birdie romp in a five-hole stretch from No. 12 that anchored his fightback from two down with eight holes left to a two-stroke victory over Peter Stojanovski of Macedonia and Aussie Tim Stewart.

Stojanovski blew his bid with a wet bogey at Luisita’s most perilous hole on No. 17 and dropped another stroke on the closing par-4 hole for a 70 while Stewart shot the day’s best 65 but ran out of holes in his own comeback bid.

Not even a 5 on the 18th could stymie Mondilla’s claim on a most cherished crown on an 18-under 270 total as Stojanovski matched that score in a desperate attempt to come up with a miracle finish. The closing bogeys marred an otherwise brilliant round for the third round leader, who shot a bogey-free four-under card after 16 holes only to end up tied with Stewart at 272.

“There was pressure and Peter just wouldn’t give up until the last two holes. But I was able to play solid and my putting clicked,” said Mondilla, referring to his late birdie splurge inside six feet that also proved too much for Stojanovski and Bayron to handle.

After missing a number of tournaments early in the season due to injury and could finish no better than 10th in Iloilo, Mondilla thus avoided going winless in the season after ruling four tournaments on his way to bagging the 2017 PGT Order of Merit crown. He received the top P750,000 purse from PGT executive director Narlene Soriano.

“I played good except in the last two holes. It’s quite frustrating to see things fall apart when the game was on the line,” said Stojanovski, who, like Stewart, pocketed P382,500. “Clyde played remarkable. He’s tough and he deserved the win.”

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