Manila, Philippines: Local stalwart Jay Bayron delighted the home crowd when he closed with a two-under-par 70 to win by two shots for his second Aboitiz Invitational title and his fourth Asian Development Tour (ADT) win.
Bayron, who won the tournament when it was inaugurated in 2011, fired four birdies against two bogeys to tame the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s East Course with a winning total of six-under-par 282 in the US$100,000 event.
Olympic-bound Malaysian Gavin Green signed for a 69 to settle for second place while Thai Rattanon Wannasrichan was a further shot back in third. He also ended with a 69 in what was the 18th leg of this season’s ADT schedule.
Indonesian George Gandranata (70) finished in fourth place with Asian Tour regular Antonio Lascuna (71) of the Philippines on 286. Overnight leader Nicolas Paez of the United States slipped to tied-sixth place on 288 following a disappointing 77.
Bayron was overjoyed to end a four-year title drought on the ADT on which he had topped the Order of Merit in 2012 thanks to two victories that season.
“I am very happy. It’s been a while since I last won on the ADT. I came into this week feeling good because I have won this tournament before and I have had some good finishes on this course. I am glad I managed to pull it through and get the job done,” said the 37-year-old Filipino, who pocketed the top prize of US$17,500.
Despite missing out on a fourth ADT victory and a third win of the season which would have given him playing rights on the Asian Tour for the remainder of 2016, Green found consolation in his runner-up finish as it propelled him to the top of the Order of Merit for the first time this season.
The 22-year-old Malaysian soared with an eagle-two on first before marking his card with four birdies against three bogeys.
“I didn’t expect to eagle the first. I had a perfect number with my pitching wedge. I hit it to about 146 yards and it was perfect as the ball hit the green, took a bounce and rolled about three-feet into the hole,” said Green.
“I made some mistakes coming in but overall it was good. It sets me in a good shape for the Olympics next week,” Green added.