Cavinti, Laguna—Zanieboy Gialon dispatched Joenard Rates with a strong start and a stronger finish as he pulled away by five with a 68 and closer to snapping a long title spell on the Philippine Golf Tour.
Bracing for a shootout with the 2018 PGT Asia Summit Point leg champion, Gialon sprayed the Caliraya Springs Golf Club with three frontside birdies yesterday and surged ahead by three over Rates, who forced a tie halfway through the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship with back-to-back solid 68s but lost his way in the face of his rival’s scorching start.
Rates actually stretched his birdie run to nine with another feat on No. 2 but stumbled with his first bogey on the sixth and yielded another a couple of holes later. He birdied the ninth but struggled at the back with one more bogey and ended up with a 73 to slip to second at 209, now five strokes behind Gialon’s 12-under 204.
Rupert Zaragosa also razed the frontside with four birdies on his way to a 67 as he tied Rates at second for a coveted spot in the championship flight.
Ira Alido finally hit his stride after a 71 and 73 as he sizzled with a 67 for fourth but his 211 aggregate remained seven shots off the Davaoneno shotmaker, who is seeking to grasp a first crown after thumping the field at ICTSI Calatagan in 2017.
Tony Lascuna carded a 71 and Clyde Mondilla matched par 72 as they shared fifth place at 212 while Jhonnel Ababa, Dino Villanueva and Lloyd Go matched 69s, and Guido Van der Valk floundered with a 73 after a superb second round 68 for joint eighth at 213.
Up by three at the turn, Gialon fumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 11, enabling Rates to pull within one. But he flashed some kind of resiliency, coming away with birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 16, a blistering windup which Rates had failed to match, putting Gialon way out in front with 18 holes left in the P2 million championship put up by ICTSI.
“I made good recoveries after bogeying Nos. 11 and 12 on missed green mishaps. After I birdied Nos. 13 and 15, I regained my confidence,” sad Gialon.
That late surge also virtually shattered the diminutive Rates’ bearing and rhythm.
“Gialon’s doing real good — putting and driving. So I need to do my stuff tomorrow (today) and make some putts,” sad Rates. “I’ll just do my thing and hope for the best.”
Zaragosa also cashed in on his solid driving, short game and putting but the many-time former national champion will have to match or better his output to get a crack at his first pro crown.
“I’m very happy with my output. But i have to stay relaxed and focused,” said Zaragosa.