MORONG, Bataan – Angelo Que capped his ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational romp with a four-under 68 for a nine-stroke victory over Toru Nakajima yesterday, ending a 22-month spell for the former three-time Asian Tour winner on the very course where he tasted his last victory.
After fumbling with shaky windups in the first three days, Que finally unleashed a strong finishing kick – birdies in the last two holes – a feat he didn’t actually need given his near-insurmountable seven-stroke lead after 54 holes that virtually reduced the final round to a victory walk at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club here.
But the former Philippine Open champion still pressed his bid as if he was still being pressed, gunning down five birdies, including four at the back, against a lone bogey for a 33-35 card and a 15-under 273 aggregate, netting him a runaway nine-shot win worth P650,000 out of the total P3.5 million purse in this kickoff leg of this year’s Philippine Golf Tour.
“I played according to my game plan and strategy,” said Que, who won two events in May 2015, including this one over Tony Lascuña before going on a slump here and abroad.
“I closely watched the Japanese because he’s the only capable spoiling my quest,” said Que, referring to Nakajima, who closed out with a 70 and wound up far behind at 282. He took the P430,000 runner-up purse in the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Nakajima actually conceded the crown as early as Friday when the first round leader failed to match Que’s early birdie-eagle binge and fell by seven. He also shot a 35 at the front yesterday and added three birdies in the first five holes at the back, only to reel back with back-to-back bogeys from No. 16.
Still, it was an impressive finish for the 32-year-old Tokyo native, who nipped Jay Bayron in the playoff to score a breakthrough on the local circuit at Wack Wack in 2013.
“I offered no alibi for my defeat. He (Que) won fair and square. He played consistently throughout. I congratulate him for a job well done,” said Nakajima, after receiving his prize from Anvaya operations manager Steve McDonald.
Sporting his favorite color yellow shirt with matching red pants, Que thanked his backers Cannon, Titleist, and Taylor Made, his wife Tracy and two kids and long-time coach Bong Lopez, looking forward to another successful campaign in the Solaire Philippine Open next month.
American Nicolas Paez rallied with the day’s best of 65 to snatch third place at 288 worth P240,000 while veteran Frankie Miñoza and Paul Echavez carded identical 71s to finish tied at fourth at 294. Each received 175,000.
Omar Dungca also shot a 71 to share sixth with Rufino Bayron, who stumbled with a 73, at 295 worth P115,000 each while Tony Lascuña failed to come up with a follow-up to his back-to-back 69s, limping with a 74 for joint eighth with Orlan Sumcad and Japanese Shotaro Onuki, who matched par 72s, at 296 in the backed by KZG, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, Event Captain, Ping and Pioneer Insurance.