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TARLAC – Micah Shin scored his maiden victory in the local golf circuit yesterday following a closing two-under par 70 in the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open championship at the Luisita Golf Club and Country Club.
Shin, a 19-year-old Korean-American, finished the four-day event at 14-under 274 to win by two shots over Order of Merit leader Tony Lascuña.
“I couldn’t ask for more. It was a memorable Saturday for me. My effort and hard work didn’t go to waste,” said Shin who pocketed the top P450,000 purse.
Shin, who started the day four shots ahead of Lascuña, birdied the third hole to go 5-up and was never threatened despite a hiccup on the treacherous par-3, 17th hole.
“I had no problem with my game, except on the 17th,” said Shin who dumped his 4-iron tee shot into the water for double bogey.
After a 35-minute delay due to lightning, Shin saved par on the 18th hole to cap his breakthrough performance.
Lascuña, a four-time winner in the tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., finished with a 68 to claim second place and P320,000.
“I missed a lot of birdie putts, specifically on Nos. 2, 3 and 4 and 16,” rued Lascuña who nevertheless remained on top of the money list.
The circuit sponsored by ICTSI and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Ping and Yamaha heads to Wack Wack next week for the final leg.
The victory lifted Shin from 13th to the Top 7 with P1,035,987 going to the P3.5 million ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at Wack Wack beginning next Wednesday.
Clyde Mondilla, a three-leg winner and the third man in the championship group, never figured in the mix following a double bogey mishap on the tricky par-3 second hole but rallied with three birdies in the last 14 holes to save a 71 and tie for third at 280 with a charging Elmer Salvador who shot a 69. Each received P160,000.
Jay Bayron put in another 70 for fifth at 281 and P110,000 while Zanieboy Gialon fought back with a 68 to tie Marvin Dumandan (72) at sixth at 282.
Australian Peter Stojanovski fired a 69 and took solo eighth at 283 while Dutch Guido Van der Valk closed out with a 72 for joint ninth at 284 with Cassius Casas, who stumbled with a 73.