DASMARINAS, Cavite – Aussie Damien Jordan nailed his first Philippine Golf Tour Asia crown in style, beating a stellar field with a brilliant final round 68 for a whopping four-stroke victory over Thai Namchok Tantipokhakul in the Aboitiz Invitational at Orchard’s Palmer course here yesterday.
Jordan fended off Tantipokhakul and Angelo Que’s early threat with a decisive four-birdie binge in a seven-hole stretch linking both nines, turning what was expected to be a down-to-the-wire battle into a runaway triumph as his putting clicked and his rivals faltered in hot condition one after the other.
“I putted superb,” who actually hinted at striking back this week after falling short in his first stab at victory where he settled for third to Jhonnel Ababa and Korean Kim Joo Hyung in Club Filipino de Cebu Invitational last week.
He pooled a 15-under 273, spiked by a lead-grabbing 64 in the first round. He slowed down with a 71 and reeled back in the rain-hit second round but got back into the groove – and the lead – with a 70 in the penultimate day of the $100,000 tournament which served as the fifth leg of this year’s PGTA put up by ICTSI.
“I had no pressure as the leader so I tried my best to avoid making mistakes,” added Jordan, who pocketed $17,500 from the $100,000 purse in the event sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
While he kept his game and putting in check throughout the last 18 holes, his rivals floundered trying to chase and put the pressure on him.
Tantipokhakul, who with Que started the final round just two strokes off Jordan, went on a spin after a birdie on No. 2, stumbling with back-to-back bogeys. Though he hit three birdies in the next 10 holes, the Thai ace failed to rattle the plucky Aussie, who had pulled away with birdies on Nos. 6, 7, 11 and 12, cruising to victory with a run of pars in the six holes.