Alido eyes title repeat in Iloilo


IT took Ira Alido nearly three years before he could nail a second career victory.

But three days into the next Visayan stop of the Philippine Golf Tour (PGT), the young star feels so good about his chances of completing a back-to-back title run.

“I’m going in there with a lot of confidence, aiming to get my third win,” said Alido, who rallied from five strokes down and toppled one big gun after another to snare the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Negros Occidental Golf Classic over the weekend.

Not only will the 22-year-old Alido bring momentum to the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge beginning Wednesday but also the drive and inspiration to hoist another PGT trophy with Chanelle Avaricio also all primed up for another title crack in the women’s side of the event presented by MORE Power.

The couple matched stirring come-from-behind victories at the tough Marapara course with Alido fighting back from five down to beat the likes of Tony Lascuña, Rupert Zaragosa, Frankie Miñoza, Zanieboy Gialon and Guido van der Valk, and Avaricio overcoming a huge 8-stroke deficit to edge Sarah Ababa.

But while the duo will face the same field they upstaged in Bacolod, they will be as much tested as the rest when they tackle the Iloilo Golf and Country Club course, the oldest in Southeast Asia, which requires accuracy off the tee and sound iron play and short game to buck the challenges quietly lying in the trees, tall hills and rolling terrains.

But after scoring a follow-up to his breakaway title run at Riviera-Langer in 2020, Alido said he’s more than ready to take up the challenge from his peers and a slew of veterans as well as from the water-laced course.

“It was a big confidence-boost,” said Alido of his Marapara win that also underscored his readiness to resume his campaign elsewhere. “I’ve been working really hard the past year and definitely now, it’s helping me to prepare to play more events abroad.”

The rest of the locals, however, are also more than ready to stir their respective title drive and foil Alido’s bid for a second straight championship in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.

“I’ll try to recover, I’m confident my putting would click there [Iloilo],” said Lascuña, who missed forcing a playoff at Marapara with a shaky approach on the closing par-5 hole and a flubbed birdie try from 25 feet.

Also out to redeem themselves from their failed title bid in Bacolod are Gialon, Miñoza and van der Valk, who all figured in the tight final round battle, along with Clyde Mondilla, Jhonnel Ababa, Zaragosa, Jay Bayron, Albin Engino, Boni Salahog, Reymon Jaraula and 2018 champion Jobim Carlos.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes

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