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Waiting game for Mango Tee leaders

Ryan Mendoza was at the driving range of Alabang Country Club by his lonesome, nine hours before his second round in the 35th Mango Tee at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa Thursday.

The 43-year-old realtor, a 15-handicapper, was trying to fix an inconsistent driver that got him in trouble in the first round on Monday.

Mendoza wasn’t happy with the 33 points and felt that he let his partner, Paulo Legaspi, down.

Legaspi, a 45-year-old entrepreneur, collected 41 points to keep their team in contention in both the Class B and overall net divisions.

Having won the Class C crown three years ago, the pair had high hopes they could pull off another victory.

After a double bogey start on 18, Mendoza said he began to doubt himself but he persevered. He was 8-over par before he stepped into the 10th hole.

“I still managed to shoot my handicap so I thought we’re still okay,” he said.

But nothing was happening in the first three holes at the back which he bogeyed.

Things started to turn around when he parred 13 and 14.

On the 190-yard, par-3 15th, Mendoza hit a four-iron to within five feet to make his birdie.

A powerful tee shot with the driver on the 437-yard par-4 16th cleared the hump, leaving Mendoza with a 158-yard approach. He again reached the green and made par.

Mendoza made a poor tee shot on 17, their final hole, leaving him with no choice but to lay up in front of the pond. He settled for a bogey and a closing 40 points.

With Legaspi, a 16-handicapper, scoring 36 points, the De La Salle Zobel schoolmates have taken a five-point lead in the overall net and a nine-point cushion in Class B.

“That 150 is a formidable score. All we can do now is wait,” Mendoza said.

Before he took the game seriously in 2019, Mendoza was into basketball and triathlon.

“The body can no longer take it so I shifted to golf,” he said.

He started to play golf regularly after getting a share at ACC.

“That was the time I got my club handicap,” he recalled.

Mendoza has two children — a 19-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

He believes the youngest has the makings of a good golfer.

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