Guido, Gialon, Lascun a join Minoza atop leaderboard

ZANIEBOY Gialon finds himself in trouble on the 18th hole at the Marapara course during the third round of the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic in Bacolod City on Friday. | Photograph by joey Sanchez Mendoza for the daily tribune @tribunephl_joey

BACOLOD City — Frankie Minoza failed to break par for the first time in three days on Friday, allowing his rivals to join him on top of the leaderboard going into the final round of the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic.

The 63-year-old legend struggled with a three-over-par 73 to slip back to even-par 210, the same output posted by Guido van der Valk, Zanieboy Gialon and Tony Lascuna.

“You really have to play extra cautious here because it’s tough, especially with the wind,” said Minoza who started with back-to-back birdies only to fall back with four bogeys and a double bogey against a lone birdie.

Van der Valk was on attack mode and was rewarded with a 66.

“You have to play this course aggressively, given its conditions,” said the Dutchman who three-putted the first hole.

Van der Valk birdied 3, 5 and 9 before firing holing out his approach on 12 for eagle.

Gialon actually wrested solo control with a blistering six-under card after 13 holes. But he made two closing bogeys to fall back to even par.

“It was going all right until I bogeyed the last two holes,” said Gialon who sank a bogey putt from 24 feet out on the 18th to cap an impressive 25-putt performance.

“But it’s still a good round. I still feel confident about my chances,” said Gialon.

Lascuña rebounded from a bogey on 4 with three birdies for a 68 that put him back in the title hunt.

“It’s all about ball control. I think it will go down to a backside battle. Iron play and putting will play a big role, as well as stamina,” said the many-time PGT Order of Merit champion.

Also in the title picture on 212s were Jay Bayron and Rupert Zaragosa, who matched 71s, and Albin Engino, who carded a second straight 72, lurking at 212.

Jhonnel Ababa closing in on 213 despite a 72 while Clyde Mondilla was on 214 after a 72 marred by three bogeys in the last six holes.

Miñoza, who edged Miguel Tabuena in sudden death for his last career win in 2016 here, won’t be in the featured threesome.

He will join Bayron and Zaragosa in the second-to-last group at 7:50 a.m. behind the last flight featuring Lascuña, Van der Valk and Gialon at 8 a.m.

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