Jhonnel Ababa reacts after drilling in a long birdie putt on No. 9.
Jhonnel Ababa 4 strokes up on hometown bets
(The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — After three days of aggressive play and doubling his overnight lead to four, Jhonnel Ababa had thought of slowing down and letting his pursuers do the attacking in the final round of the ICTSI Del Monte Championship in Bukidnon today.

But these may all change as Clyde Mondilla and Reymon Jaraula flashed their local knowledge of the tight, heavily wooded mountaintop course and put in a pair of low rounds yesterday that put the Del Monte aces back in the title hunt in the P2.5 million championship.

Ababa bucked a wobbly stint on the mound with superb iron game and solid putting, overcoming a bogey mishap on No. 5 with a cluster of birdies, including four in the last eight holes for a third straight 67 that hiked his 36-hole lead of two over Zanieboy Gialon to four heading to the final 18 holes of the event serving as the seventh leg of the 10th season of the Philippine Golf Tour.

“I hit it most to the left with my driver but made up for the struggle with good iron play and putting,” said Ababa, whose 35-32 card gave him a 54-hole total of 15-under 201 and closer to a first PGT crown since ruling the rain-shortened Cebu stop of last year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

He went straight to the range to tinker with his swing, which he said would be key to his title bid even as he hinted at changing his game plan.

“I’ll play a controlled game tomorrow (today) and hope to make the most of my birdie chances,” said Ababa.

GOLF JHONNEL ABABA
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