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Siodina, master of short-game, holes out

Legend Mario Siodina (second from left) leaves behind misty, water-colored memories on and off the fairways. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Mario Siodina

Mario Siodina, the multi-titled professional golfer in the late 1970s up to the early 1990s, died due to natural causes early morning of 24 July at the Cavite East Asia Medical Center. He was 74 years old.

The tired old mantra of putting for dough may have originated from Siodina himself, based on his mastery of the short game.

But most of his colleagues remember the Bacolod-born Siodina for his flamboyant style.

Reflective of the colorful fashion of the decades, Siodina is known for his broom-like bell-bottom pants, big-collared, colorful shirts ala-Elvis Presley.

His game was just as loud and big. He participated in the World Cup of Golf together with fellow greats Rudy Labares, Caloy Nival, Eddie Bagtas, Mario Manubay, and Frankie Miñoza from 1982 to 1991.

He won the local Philippine Golf Circuit’s Order of Merit crown several times. In the international scene, he won a leg on the Singapore PGA Tour and the Sabah Masters in Malaysia.

When he turned senior, he actively played in the Asian Senior Masters Tour in Japan and the ASEAN Senior Masters. He slowed down after that but later resurfaced as one of the teaching pros at the posh Alabang Country Club.

A Viber message sent to friends by his family read “despite all the complications from multiple organs not functioning well, doctors informed us until the last moments of his life and he still showed us the true spirit of a Champion that He truly is.

“He fought and remained strong ‘til the end but the Lord had different plans and gave him Eternal peace and ended his pains. On behalf of the family, we would like to thank you for being part of our Dear Mario Siodina’s life and journey.”

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