Jordan regains control despite last-hole bogey
Damien JordanErnie Peñaredondo
DASMARIÑAS, Cavite, Philippines — Damien Jordan blew two precious strokes on a final hole slip but kept a two-stroke lead over Angelo Que and Thai Namchok Tantipokhakul with a two-under 70 in wicked day in the third round of the Aboitiz Invitational here yesterday.
While the rest of the contenders fumbled and stumbled in rain, sun and rain – and the slow greens – heading home, Jordan came away with superb iron shots and birdied three of the first six holes at the back to build a four-shot cushion over Que, Tantipokhakul and Michael Bibat heading to the 18th hole of Orchard’s Palmer course.
But the Aussie ace uncharacteristically missed the green and three-putted for bogey while Que and the Thai closed out with birdies to shoot identical 71s and close the gap at two, 205-207, going to the last 18 holes of the $100,000 event serving as the fifth leg of the Philippine Golf Tour Asia put up by ICTSI.
“I struggled on the very slow greens. I’m not used to that kind of condition but the rains in the morning did the damage damping them,” said Jordan, who shared the halfway lead with Zanieboy Gialon after Que blundered with a double-bogey on the par-5 18th at resumption of his rain-suspended second round play early yesterday.
Que hardly recovered from that 7, gunning down just two birdies against two bogeys in the third round but built some kind of momentum and confidence with that final hole birdie going to the final round of the annual event sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
He also rued his shaky putting in the first 13 holes, including a par-putt miss from just about a couple of feet on No. 11 and about three or four others for birdies from short range although he bounced back with two birdies in the last five holes to tie the Thai at second.
“I believe that’s a good sign for me in the final round,” said Que, a multi-titled winner eyeing a breakthrough here at Aboitiz after two runner-up efforts in 2013 and last year.
Tantipokhakul likewise had to buck a roller-coaster round that included three birdies against three bogeys in the first 14 holes, coming through with that closing birdie that put the Thai bet in contention for a first victory in the event offering $17,500 to the winner.