Clyde Mondilla hopes to close out the 2014 ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour season in style as he guns for a second straight championship in the P3.5 million ICTSI Tournament Players’ Championship unfolding on Tuesday at the Southlinks Golf Club in Las Piñas.
Riding the crest of his breakthrough victory in Canlubang last month, the young Del Monte ace exudes confidence as he sets out against the very same field he dominated with a solid final round of 69 that netted him a four-stroke victory over fancied Cassius Casas and three others at Cangolf.
“I just hope this [win]is the start of something big for me,” said the 20-year-old Mondilla, the former national champion who showed a lot of promise when he joined the pro ranks in 2012.
The win also moved Mondilla to No. 8 in the ICTSI PGT Order of Merit ranking with another victory next week, worth a whopping P650,000, could shove him to as high as No. 4 at the close of the 16-stage tour sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
But a slew of others will be out to foil his back-to-back title drive and fuel their own bid to improve their respective rankings with Casas, winner at ICTSI Iloilo, raring to get back at Mondilla and nail a second leg win on the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Casas is actually eyeing a third win this year and seeking to close out the season the way he opened it—with a win—after topping the rich The Country Club Invitational last February.
“It would be nice if I end the season with a win,” said Casas, also out to improve his No. 5 post in the OOM.
Others tipped to contend for top honors are ICTSI Summit leg winner Arnold Villacencio, ICTSI Northwoods stage champion Zanie Boy Gialon, ICTSI ADT Orchard leg titlist Rufino Bayron, ICTSI Sherwood Hills leg champion Charles Hong and ICTSI John Hay stage winner Jun Rates.
Due for a big win in the 72-hole championship, backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp, KZG and Rudy Project, are Marvin Dumandan, Ferdie Aunzo, Jhonnel Ababa, Jessie Balasabas, Dante Becierra, Michael Bibat, Mhark Fernando, Anthony Fernando and Gerald Rosales.
Mars Pucay, an Asian Tour campaigner, is also out to snap a long title spell along with Artemio Murakami, Robert Pactolerin, Rey Pagunsan, Elmer Saban, Benjie Magada, Micah Shin and Jun Bernis.
Meanwhile, the leading pros will test the new par-72 Southlinks layout in the traditional pro-am tournament on Monday where they will be paired with guests and amateur players of the event’s chief backers.