Fernando claims ICTSI golf crown
MHARK Fernando finished with a flourish as he shot a three-under 69 in the final round to wrap up a five-shot win over Rufino Bayron and claim the championship in the P1 million ICTSI Calatagan Challenge in Batangas yesterday.
The win by Fernando stopped his year-long title drought on the local professional tour since beating Juvic Pagunsan for the ICTSI Del Monte crown last year. The former national champion built enough cushion with a fiery five-under card after 13 holes to post the runaway victory.
With surprise second day leader Korean amateur Hwang Kang Yul, who led Fernando and Bayron by one before the final round, failing to withstand the pressure and fell back with a double-bogey start, Fernando birdied two of the first four holes to wrest control and pulled away with three more birdies in the first four holes at the back of the Calatagan layout he calls home.
He wound up with a four-under 212 and took the P200,000 top purse in the 54-hole tournament serving as the 13th leg of the 15-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Bayron, the first day leader also chasing his first victory after humbling the pros as an amateur at Valley Golf four years ago, failed to match Fernando’s hot start and reeled back with a bogey on No. 5. He fell by three at the turn with a 37 and never got the chance to strike back with a couple of missed birdie putts to finish with a 74 for second place at one-over 217. He received P120,000. /Correspondent Jonas Panerio