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Van der Valk tops Eagle Ridge golfest

GEN. TRIAS, Cavite – Guido Van der Valk capped a month-long run of fine form with a victory at the P2.5 million ICTSI Eagle Ridge Challenge yesterday, beating Jay Bayron and American Nicolas Paez by three in a windy stretch run duel to claim his maiden win on the Philippine Golf Tour here.

Van der Valk lost a two-shot lead early but outduelled Bayron in a pressure-packed finish, winning it all despite a four-over 76 and finally ending years of near-misses in the local circuit sponsored by ICTSI, including a playoff setback to Tony Lascuña in Bacolod in 2016.

But two strong third place efforts in The Country Club Invitational and the Solaire Philippine Open, both at the tough TCC course, the last four weeks have lined up the Manila-based shotmaker from Lelystad, the Netherlands, for this breakthrough triumph he had long wished and worked for.

While he credited his third round surge to steady putting, the new champion said his iron play won it for him although he admitted he only gained confidence after Bayron fumbled with the first of his four bogeys on No. 14.