Hong leans on late push for 2nd title

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

TRECE MARTIREZ-- Charles Hong leaned on a two-shot swing on No. 12 to seize control then finished off Micah Shin with birdies in the closing holes for a four-under 68 to rule the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic by two yesterday.

Hong came away with clutch birdies in scorching heat coming home, the first off a solid 5-iron tee shot on the par-3 185-yard No. 16 that landed two feet off the cup and the other from five feet off another superb approach shot on the 17th.

He thwarted Shin’s comeback bid to nail his second career win with a 12 under 276 total.


But his latest triumph, worth P650,000, was six times more than what he earned when he nipped veteran Richard Sinfuego in sudden death in the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro leg in 2012 to clinch his maiden win, moving him from No. 10 to second (P845,930) in the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit ranking behind absentee Tony Lascuna (P885,000) after four legs of the circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

Hong, who hit three eagles to shoot a 65 and bounce back into contention in the third round Friday, appeared headed for another playoff finish when Shin birdied No. 15 from five feet to force a tie at 11-under.

But Hong proved steadier in the end, coming through with those birdies in a big windup for a young pro who bounced back from a missed cut stint at ICTSI John Hay with a strong joint third place finish at ICTSI Eagle
Ridge two weeks ago.

Despite the setback, Shin showed he got what it takes to be a winner as
the 17-year-old Davaobased shotmaker, who finished 33rd in the OOM ranking in his rookie season last year, took the runner-up honors at 11-under 277 worth P430,000.

Shin, who wrested the lead from first day leader Randy Garalde and hung tough to keep his two-shot lead intact heading to the final round, dropped off the leaderboard with a bogeybogey mishap on Nos. 11 and 12. He tied Hong only to reel back in the face of Hong’s blazing finish. (PR)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 27, 2014.


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