Alido rallies with fiery 64, wins by one

The Philippine Star
Alido rallies with fiery 64, wins by one
Ira Alido.
STAR / File

BACOLOD, Philippines — Ira Alido did the unthinkable the way girlfriend Chanelle Avaricio essayed a highly improbable come-from-behind win in the women’s side of the ICTSI Negros Occidental Golf Classic presented by MORE Power, charging back from five shots down to beat Tony Lascuña and Rupert Zaragosa by one for the hotly-disputed championship here yesterday.

So furious was the title chase that four tied for the lead after 54 holes of play at the tough Marapara layout and Alido rallied from joint 10th to make it a five-way logjam and Zaragoza joined the fray midway through the final round battle that turned the Philippine Golf Tour’s kickoff event this year into one of the most compelling in recent years.

In a duel of nerves at the finish, the youngest among the chief contenders delivered, drilling in a pressure-packed curling 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole to fire a 64 four flights ahead of the championship group. He then watched the seasoned Lascuña, who needed a birdie to force a playoff, mishit his approach shot on the par-5 18th and miss a 25-footer.

No sudden death ensued but the hour-long wait proved to be more telling for the 22-year-old Alido.

“It was harder and tougher to wait than go to a playoff,” said Alido in jest. He totaled a 279 that included rounds of 69, 72 and 74 and snatched the top purse of P405,000.

Lascuña, who drew level with Alido in a long stretch at the back as the rest of the bidders fell off the heap one after the other, finished with a 70, enabling Zaragosa, in joint fifth at the start of the final round, to share runner-up honors at 280 after a 68. They split the combined prize of P418,500.

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