Davao’s Salvador seeks another first on Asian Dev’t Tour

After becoming the first player to repeat as champion on the Asian Development Tour, Davao’s Elmer Salvador tries to set another mark on the feeder circuit to the Asian Tour – scoring back-to-back victories as the elite ADT field heads to the ICTSI Classic beginning Wednesday (July 31) at Mt. Malarayat in Lipa, Batangas
No player has posted back-to-back leg victories since ADT’s inaugural staging in 2010 but Salvador is out to break the jinx with a form honed up and a confidence boosted by his successful title-retention drive in the Aboitiz Invitational last Saturday.
“I’ll try my best but it won’t be easy. The whole field is after me,” said Salvador in Filipino after holding off Angelo Que by one at the Cebu Country Club last Saturday.
The same Aboitiz cast will vie for top honors in the upcoming $60,000 event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. with Salvador expecting a tougher challenge not only from Que but also from the likes of Carl Santos-Ocampo, Miguel Tabuena, Charles Hong, Tony Lascuna and Mars Pucay.
Meanwhile, highlights of the Aboitiz Invitational will be shown at 6 tonight on Studio 23 (Bilis Balita) and at 8:30 p.m. on Gameday with Boom Gonzales on Balls (Channel 34, Sky Cable) and at 9 p.m. on Ibabalita, also on Studio 23.
The four-day ICTSI Classic, which offers a top purse of $10,500 and backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW, serves as the ninth leg of both the ADT and the ICTSI PGT.
Englishman Ian Keenan, who finished fourth at Aboitiz Invitational, heads the strong foreign challenge that includes Korean teener Park Il-Hwan, Dutch Guido Van der Valk, American Brian Locke, Canadian Lindsay Renolds and Peter Richardson, also of England.
American James Bowen, who won two ADT legs this year, is also raring to redeem himself from a poor 54th-place finish in Cebu while Orlan Sumcad, who closed out with a 66 at Aboitiz, hopes to sustain his new-found form at the wind-raked Mt. Malarayat which he calls home.
“While one has the proverbial momentum, it’s really tough to win back-to-back. There’s an added pressure and one must really stay focused in his game plan to get another crack at the crown,” said Salvador, who has had three straight runner-up finishes on the ICTSI PGT before his Aboitiz win.(pr)

Davao golfer keeps Aboitiz Invt’l crown

Dabawenyo Elmer Salvador became the first player to repeat as champion on the Asian Development Tour, edging Angelo Que by one with a closing three-under 69 to annex the Aboitiz Invitational crown for the second consecutive year at the Cebu Country Club last July 28.
Salvador bucked a two-shot swing by Que on the final hole, escaping with the close win after missing the green off a fairway trap on the par-4, 360-yard No. 18 and Que barely holing out with an eagle from 90 yards off a monster drive.
“My gameplan was to play it a bit cautious given a tough rival in Que and the playing condition. Kailangan talaga mag-ingat,” said Salvador, who came up with a clutch birdie on the 17th that gave him a three-shot cushion heading to the final hole.
He wound up with a 12-under 276, four shots better than when he beat fellow Dabawenyo Tony Lascuña by six in summer rules last year. Salvador pocketed another $11,375 (around P490,000), becoming the first player to retain a crown on the four-year ADT serving as the feeder circuit to the Asian Tour. He beat Tony Lascuña by six here last year.
Jay Bayron, another Davao talent, also ruled the first two editions of this event sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. in 2010. But the inaugural Aboitiz Invitational was still not part of the ADT calendar.
“You should be thankful I didn’t make an eagle. Otherwise we’d still be out in the fairway,” Que told Salvador, referring to that possible three-shot swing on the final hole.
Settling for two strokes, Que settled for a 71 and a 277 worth runner-prize of $7,4675 in the event presented by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“Not bad – one win, one second and one third,” said Que, who only rejoined the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour last May where he won the ICTSI Orchard Championship. He also placed third to the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship won by Frankie Minoza two weeks ago.
Carl Santos-Ocampo rallied with a 69 to snatch third place at 280 worth $4,450 while Englishman Ian Keenan shot a 71 and finished tied for fourth at 282 with Korean Park Il-Hwan and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who both had 72s.
American Brian Locke, who led in the first round, fired a 69 for a 283 to tie Miguel Tabuena, who carded a 70, and Charles Hong, who turned in a 71, at seventh while seven players – Johvanie Abaño (68), Wolmer Murillo of Venezuela (69), Canadian Lindsay Renolds (70), Aussie Michael Moore (71), England’s Peter Richardson (71), Anthony Fernando (73) and Tony Lascuña (73), ended up tied for 10th at 284.
Bracing for a shootout with Que after yielding the halfway lead Friday, Salvador even fell by two after Que birdied the opening hole. But he rattled off four birdies in a five-hole stretch from No. 3 to wrest control and set the stage for an impending blowout instead.
For while Salvador kept on hitting birdies, Que kept on making bogeys, dropping three strokes in the last five holes at the front to fall behind by five.
For Salvador, it was a matter of time before could wrap up another championship although he somehow gave Que and the rest some room for a comeback with a rollercoaster ride at the back.
He bogeyed the 10th, hit a birdie on No. 14 only to drop another shot on the 15th while Que gunned down a birdie on the 11th and 16th to pull within two. But Salvador came through with a clutch birdie on the 17th for that big three-shot cushion heading to the final hole.
The other backers of the event, also the eighth leg of the ICTSI-PGT, were Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW.(pr)
 
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Elmer Salvador receives from Aboitiz official William Paradies the replica of the check worth $11,375 after winning the Aboitiz Invitational crown for the second straight year at the Cebu Country Club.

Dabawenyo wrests control with eagle-spiked 68, leads by 2

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Dabawenyo Elmer Salvador birdied Nos. 16 and 17 for the second straight day and preserved an eagle-spiked four-under 68 to wrest a two-stroke lead over an equally charging Ian Keenan of England halfway through the Aboitiz Invitational at the wet Cebu Country Club yesterday.
Salvador came out of a 30-minute delay due to lightning with an eagle on the par-5 12th for a four-under card but fumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 12, needing to come up with those late birdies inside six feet to finish with 68 and a 135 and on track for a first back-to-back title romp on the Asian Development Tour.
“It rained hard in one stretch and made it tougher for us. Medyo manlalamig ka talaga. But I just stayed focused,” said Salvador in Filipino, now 36 holes away from retaining the crown he won in runaway fashion over Tony Lascuna last year.
But Keenan pressed his bid with the day’s best five-under 67, staying just two strokes off the Filipino ace shotmaker at 137 while Korean Park Il-hwan and Anthony Fernando stood another shot behind at 136 after a 68 and 70, respectively, guaranteeing a down-to-the-wire battle in this eighth leg of the ADT sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.
“My ball striking was very, very good and didn’t hole any putts longer than 10 or 12 feet. I just kept it close all day,” said Keenan, coming off a 22nd place finish in last week’s Jakarta Classic won by American James bowen.
The 27-year-old Englishman birdied two of the last four holes to complte a 33-34 round and join Salvador and any from Fernando or Park in today’s featured flight in a pivotal third round.
As American Brian Locke, who surged past Salvador at nightfall to claim the first round honors with a 66 Wednesday, found the going tough in morning play under sun and rain and hobbled with a 73, Salvador bucked all the odds to seize control of the elite field at nine-under total.
Park, who finished joint 10th at Glenmarie Masters in Kuala Lumpur last March in his first and only ADT tournament thus far, rattled off three straight birdies to close out his backside stint then snapped a slew of pars with another birdie on the ninth for a 68.
Fernando, the former national champion still in search of a breakthrough pro win in four years, hit two birdies and a par to close out his interrupted first round play early Thursday with a 68. He added a 70 to tie Park at second then stressed the need to stick to his game plan to get a crack at the crown.
“I have to be focused and play the course intelligently,” said Fernando, out to end a string of runner-up finishes off mediocre closing round performances, including a second place effort at the Asean PGA Tour leg in Malaysia last January. He’s been using his trusted 4-iron off the mound instead of driver to tackle the narrow fairways of CCC, leading to four birdies against two bogeys in another challenging day.
Locke, who annexed his maiden ADT victory in Malaysia late last year, stood at 139, dropping into a tie with surging Carl Santos-Ocampo (68), Angelo Que (69) and Australian Darren Tan (71).
Jun Bernis also rallied with a 69 to tie England’s Peter Richardson, who blew a five-under card for a 69, at 140 while Lascuna also rebounded with a 69 for a 141 in a tie with Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Swede Malcolm Kokocinski, who both had 72s.
The 27-year-old Locke failed to come up with a follow up to a big start in his first ADT tournament in the season in his first stint at CCC, dropping two strokes on the par-4 17th which he birdied at dusk Wednesday. He made a 38 at the backside turn then hit two birdies against a bogey in the last three holes at the front for that 73.
Four shots behind, Que said he liked his chances going into the final 36 holes but rued at least a couple of missed birdie opportunities from six feet that could’ve pulled him within Salvador.
“I’m doing well, hitting 14-15 fairways and greens and making some good up-and-down,” said Que, seeking his second victory in the season after routing the field with a flawless eagle-spiked 62 in the final round at ICTSI Orchard Championship.
Missing the top 50 plus ties cut at three-over 147 were Bowen (71-148), Ferdie Aunzo (76-148), Mhark Fernando (74-150) and Cassius Casas (74-151).(pr)

PBA, TV5 agree to air games on IBC-13

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and TV5 agreed Monday to continue airing the PBA games on IBC-13 under the original schedule laid out by the league for the 2013 Governors’ Cup, which starts on August 14 and ends October 25 at the latest.

In opting not to change the fans’ viewing habits and the schedule of games that have resulted in record gate receipts and TV ratings this season, both the PBA and TV5 have placed public interest above all other considerations.

“We value our relationship and recognize TV5’s role as a positive factor for the league,” said PBA commissioner Chito Salud. “The PBA and TV5 are one in upholding the interest of our basketball fans.”

In the meantime, TV5 will review the current terms of its coverage contract with the PBA and submit its proposal to the PBA Board of Governors for the purpose of determining how best to further improve the relations between the two parties.

“I’m very happy that the Governors’ Cup will be enjoyed by the fans, especially coming from a basketball high with the FIBA Asia tournament,” said TV5 president Noel Lorenzana. “We’re happy to bring the games to everyone’s homes and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the PBA.” (pr)

Aboitiz Invit’l kicks off 2-leg ADT Phl swing

The $65,000 Aboitiz Invitational firing off Wednesday (July 24) at the Cebu Country Club will kick off a two-week swing of top-notch golfing action in the country with the ICTSI Classic slated next week at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
The banner international field slugging it out for top honors in Cebu will all be around when the Mt. Malarayat event makes its debut on the Asian Development Tour, a farm league of the Asian Tour, on July 31-Aug. 3 offering a total prize fund of $60,000.
The Aboitiz Invitational and the ICTSI Classic serve as the seventh and eighth legs of the 12-stage ADT with the burgeoning circuit making stops in Malaysia, Indonesia, Chinese Taipei and the Philippines.
The top three players after the ADT will earn Asian Tour cards next year with Filipino ace Jay Bayron topping last year’s Order of Merit ranking.
Meanwhile, Elmer Salvador braces for a tougher outing this time after romping off with a six-shot victory over fellow Davaoeno Tony Lascuña last year with American James Bowen leading the crack international field in the Aboitiz Invitational backed by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Bowen is coming off fresh from a two-shot victory over Taiwanese Chan Shih-chang in last week’s Jakarta Classic, his second after ruling Sime Darby Harvard Masters in Malaysia last February.
But the Filipino aces, including Angelo Que, Miguel Tabuena and Mars Pucay, are expected to cash in on their local knowledge of the CCC layout now set as a par-72 course.
“The golf course has been changed a little bit. We want it to be more challenging to the players,” said Asian Tour director for Tour Operations Jittisak Tamprasert during last week’s launch of the event supported by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW with Balls, Studio 23, Impact and Pinoygolfer.com as media partners.
A total of 126 players are seeing action in the event, including six ADT winners and 76 from the ADT ranking, guaranteeing four days of action-packed battle of shotmaking, iron play and putting.
Meanwhile, after the back-to-back ADT events, which also serve as the eighth and ninth legs, respectively, of the local tour, action in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour resumes at ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge on Aug. 14-16 to be followed by the ICTSI  Manila Southwoods Championship on Sept. 4-7, another P2. 5 million event.(pr)

Uy, Superal bag Junior World team crown

Daniella Uy and Princess Superal combined for a 144 as Team Philippines beat Thailand, 576-583, to capture the girls’ 15-17 team championship in the Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, California Friday.
Uy, who finished second to Mariel Galdiano in individual play, and Superal, who ended up sixth, frustrated Ornicha Konsunthea and Benyapa Niphatsophon with a steady round at Torrey Pines North Course, matching their Thai rivals’ closing even par card to cruise to a seven-shot victory.
It was Team Phl’s third win in the annual event counting Team ICTSI mainstay Pauline del Rosario and Kristoffer Arevalo’s sweep of the 13-14 titles Thursday.
Japan, which led in the first round, wound up third in team play with a 584 after a 147.
Fil-Am Rico Hoey, who anchored the Philippines title romp in the recent Putra Cup, teamed up with Aaron Wise to capture the boys’ 15-17 team crown for the US. They pooled a 579 to beat Canada’s Matt Williams and Patrick Murphy, who assembled a 586.
Over in North Carolina, Cyna Rodriguez blew a 3-up lead with eight holes to play and dropped a 2&1 decision to Ally McDonald in the match play phase of the Women’s North and South Amateur Golf Championship in Pinehurst Friday.
Rodriquez cracked under pressure and bogeyed the last four holes, enabling his Mississippi rival to snatch the win and advance to the quarterfinal round of the
It was a sorry setback for the top ICTSI-backed bet, who birdied Nos. 2 and 3 to go 2-up and took another hole on No. 6 despite a bogey as McDonald stumbled with a double-bogey.
She kept the lead with pars on Nos. 9 and 10 but failed to salvage pars from close range in the next two to enable McDonald to close within, 1-up.
After both parred the par-4 13th, Rodriguez again fumbled with back-to-back bogeys to go one-hole down and lost another hole on the par-3 17th to yield the match.(pr)