Clyde Mondilla hopes to ride the momentum of his recent back-to-back victories at Southwoods and Villamor as he guns for a third straight victory in the ICTSI Calatagan Golf Challenge starting Wednesday at the Calatagan Golf Club in Batangas.
One thing going for the 24-year-old Del Monte ace in the 72-hole championship offering a total pot of P2.5 million is that he’ll be playing on a course he tamed with a 17-under 271 total en route to posting a huge eight-stroke victory over Jhonnel Ababa last year.
With his pair of one-stroke triumphs at the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship last month and at the revival of the Philippine Masters two weeks ago, Mondilla will not only have the proverbial momentum on his side but also the psychological edge.
Tony Lascuña admits that with Mondilla playing in some kind of a zone, it makes him doubly tough to beat but the veteran campaigner wants to focus on his game, particularly putting, as he goes for a follow up to his Manila Masters triumph at Eastridge last April.
“When you’re on top of your game, you’ll be tough to beat. But I still like my chances although I need to polish my putting to get another crack (at the crown),” said Lascuña.
Ababa is also tipped to contend for the top P450,000 purse in the event sponsored by ICTSI, along with Mhark Fernando and Jerson Balasabas, who all call Calatagan their home, having honed up their skills at the rolling layout during their amateur days.
Others expected to figure in the title chase are veterans Elmer Salvador, Jay Bayron, Rey Pagunsan, Mars Pucay, Gerald Rosales and Orlan Sumcad along with young guns Jobim Carlos, Justin Quiban and Keanu Jahns.
The event, serving as the seventh leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., also continues to draw foreign participation with Aussies Nathan Park and Jason Dawes, Koreans Park Jun Sung and Hong Soon Hyup, Americans Elliot Hume, Lexus Keoninh, Paul Harris and Nicolas Paez, Macedonian Peter Stojanovski, Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Scott Secord of Canada.
Also seeing action in the event, backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT, are amateurs Gab Manotoc, Jesselito Zaragosa and Korean Kim Joo Hyung.