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Mondilla takes charge anew


It did and he canned in the eagle putt from eight feet.


BUKIDNON — Clyde Mondilla found the putting touch he flaunted in the first round but lost in the next and put himself back on top with an eagle-spiked 65 in overcast skies, one shot ahead of Reymon Jaraula in the third round of the ICTSI Del Monte Championship Thursday.

Despite a solid frontside that featured a birdie on No. 4 and an eagle on the ninth, Mondilla still scrambled trying to regain the right strokes as he missed short birdie bids in the first three holes and three-putted from 10 feet on No. 10 to typify his struggle on the surface he is so familiar with.

But things turned around after he dropped a three-foot birdie putt on No. 13 as he picked up another stroke on a muffed 8-foot eagle putt on the next.

He then drilled three more inside six feet to string a clutch five birdie-run that carried the multi-titled campaigner past three aces and moved him on the threshold of back-to-back championships on the Philippine Golf Tour.

Mondilla was actually aiming to make it six straight but hit a tree on his second shot on the par-5 18th and blasted way past the hole to settle for par and a 33-32 for a 54-hole total of 15-under 201.

“I didn’t expect to be on top again, just tried to put myself into good position but got my confidence back (in putting) in the last nine holes,” said the runaway winner at Forest Hills last June who drove past halfway point leader Justin Quiban and erstwhile joint second-running Reymon Jaraula and Jhonnel Ababa to zero in on the top P437,000 purse in the P2.5 million championship put up by ICTSI.

But Jaraula stayed where he stood at after 36 holes, pressing his own title drive following a big win at Valley, also last June, with a bogey-free 67, capped by birdies in the last two holes as he assembled a 202 to seal a final round duel of homegrown bets.

Quiban snapped a two-birdie, two-bogey card after 12 holes with an eagle and two birdies against one more birdie for a 69 and a 203, setting the stage for a three-man shootout in the last 18 holes of this eighth leg of the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized circuit supported by PGTI official apparel Kampfortis Golf.

“Just made too many bogeys, missed a lot of greens and couldn’t commit to my shots,” said Quiban, who took command with two straight 67s and highlighted his third-round stretch-run fightback with an eagle on No. 14.

“After a good drive, I cut it with a Hybrid shot from 247 yards, hoping it would stop and land on the green,” Quiban said.

It did and he canned in the eagle putt from eight feet.

Chasing a third PGT crown after winning in Bacolod and in PGT Asia at Luisita, the one-time PGA Tour campaigner said: “Just have to make good decisions on club and shot choices. Putting is great all week but I have to hit it closer.”

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