Alido bags Negros crown

This win is a big confidence-boost because I’ve been working really hard the past year and I haven’t been showing any good results.

VICTORY is sweet for Ira Christian Alido, the other half of Philippine golf’s power couple. | Photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the daily tribune @tribunephl_joey

BACOLOD CITY — Philippine golf’s power couple has just swept the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic at the Marapara course.

A day after Chanelle Avaricio came from behind to edge Sarah Ababa for the title, Ira Christian Alido did the same thing, nipping veteran Tony Lascuña at the finish on Saturday.

The 22-year-old capped a tournament-best six-under-par 64 with a clutch 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole to wind up on 1-under 143.

“I was inspired by Chanelle’s victory. I told her that I’ll do my best to match her feat,” said Alido who picked up his second tour victory and P405,000 paycheck.

Alido started the day five shots off the pace.

“My goal was to shoot five-under after 9 holes. And while I shot only four-under, it was perfect enough to put myself in the hunt,” he said.

Alido had a pair of back-to-back birdies from 1 and 5 and added two more on 12 and 15 to join the crowded leaderboard.

An errant tee shot led to a bogey on 17 but Alido held his nerves and set up the birdie putt on 18 which he converted.

“This win is a big confidence-boost because I’ve been working really hard the past year and I haven’t been showing any good results,” Alido said. “But definitely now, it’s helping me prepare to play more events abroad.”

Alido has seen action in the Asian Development Tour and the Asian Tour.

Save for Rupert Zaragosa’s 68, not one among the overnight leaders broke par.

Tony Lascuña was tied for the lead with Alido before he stumbled with a bogey on 17 that dropped him to even par for the day.

He had a chance to forge a playoff in the par-5 finishing hole, but his approach stopped 25 feet short of the hole.

Lascuña showed his disappointment by kicking a nearby tree and shook his head as he walked to the final green. His putt veered left of the green as Alido heaved a sigh of relief.

“It was harder and tougher to wait than go to a playoff,” said Alido in jest.

Lascuña split the combined prize of P418,500 with Zaragosa who birdied the final hole.

Frankie Miñoza, who led the stellar field in the first two rounds, trailed early on but stayed in the fight with clutch putts and birdies. He, however, settled for a 71 and solo fourth on 281 worth P119,250.

Zanieboy Gialon, the overnight leader alongside Miñoza, Lascuña and Guido Van der Valk, faded with bogeys on 16 and 17 and ended up with a 72 for joint fifth on 282 with Jhonnel Ababa, who shot a 69.

Van der Valk also lost steam in the stretch, reeling with a double-bogey on 14 and bogeys on 16 and 17. He signed for a 73 and placed seventh at 283.

The Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized circuit heads to Iloilo next week for the last of the two-leg Visayan swing of the country’s premier tour.

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