Clyde Mondilla hopes to shrug off a slow start in the season as he goes for back-to-back win in the ICTSI Manila Masters, which gets going April 5 at the Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, Rizal.
The 23-year-old Del Monte star nipped Jobim Carlos in a playoff to spark a three-leg romp in last year’s Philippine Golf Tour and went on to finish second to Tony Lascuña in the Order of Merit ranking.
But poor finishes marked his first three tournaments in the season, including a missed cut stint in the Solaire Philippine Open and a 21st-place effort in The Country Club Invitational.
He also struggled at 38th in the Anvaya Cove Invitational won by Angelo Que in runaway fashion last February.
But he toughened up back home at Del Monte during the month-long break after the Phl Open, hopeful of putting it all together for another title crack in the P3 million event sponsored by ICTSI and backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.
Mondilla, who also won at Calatagan and at Mt. Malarayat last year, pooled a five-under 283 then nipped Carlos with a tap-in birdie on the closing par-5 hole of the up-and-down layout in the playoff to snare last year’s crown.
But the rest of the 100-player field also firmed up their respective games during the break, including a crack international field, guaranteeing a shootout for the top P550,000 purse in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The upcoming event also serves as the second leg of this year’s PGT and a tune-up for a three-leg Asian Development Tour swing at Luisita on May 3-6, Orchard on May 10-13 and Manila Southwoods on May 17-20.
Meanwhile, the PGTI will revive the Philippine Masters, one of the country’s four majors in the 90s, on May 24-27 at its home at Villamor Golf Club with Calatagan staging the seventh leg on June 7-10 and Forest Hills hosting the next stop on June 21-24.
The Duel, held in alternate year’s like the Ryder Cup, will be held July 5-6 at John Hay in Baguio with the best of the South (Visayas and Mindanao) slugging it out again with the Luzon aces.
Royal Northwoods will also be back as host of the circuit on July 12-15 followed by the Sherwood Hills Classic on Aug. 2-5, the Aboitiz Invitational, another ADT co-sanctioned event, on Aug. 9-12 at The Country Club.