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Mondilla soars with an eagle

LIPA City, Batangas – Clyde Mondilla recalled the fierce form that netted him back-to-back victories at Eastridge and Calatagan, putting in an eagle-spiked seven-under 65 and bouncing back from five down to one-up in the third round of the ICTSI Classic here yesterday.

A crisp, solid drive that sailed through the 331-yard No. 7 of Mt. Lobo and rested just a club-length off the cup for eagle highlighted the 23-year-old Mondilla’s 32-33 card, giving him a 54-hole aggregate of 206 and a one-stroke lead over erstwhile leader Orlan Sumcad, who stayed on track for a breakthrough win despite dropping to second at 207 after a 71.

But Marvin Dumandan also remained within striking distance at 208 after a 70 and Jay Bayron kept his bid for a third straight championship despite a second straight 71 as he stood at solo fourth at 209 heading to the last 18 holes of the P2 million event sponsored by ICTSI.

“I just felt I could go low today (yesterday) so I attacked the greens. I was just too confident of my shots,” said Mondilla, the rising Del Monte star out to atone for his playoff setback to Bayron last week at ICTSI Riviera Classic, putting the Davaoñeo shotmaker on course for a third straight win after ruling the Aboitiz Invitational at Wack Wack three weeks ago.

Sumcad, who took charge halfway through with a 66 Thursday, birdied the drivable No. 7 then added two birdies linking both nines to stay in the lead but failed to hang on at the finish, bogeying Nos. 16 and 18 to drop off the pace.

“Despite falling off the lead, I’m still confident of my chances. But I’ll just play and try to enjoy the game tomorrow (today) and hope my putting clicks,” said Sumcad, a many-time contender but never a winner on the tour backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.

Like the top two players, Dumandan, out to break out of a long title spell, also expressed confidence of his chances for the crown.