Minoza Enjoys Home Triumph

Sun 04 Feb 2007

Minoza Enjoys Home Triumph

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Manila, February 4: Filipino legend Frankie Minoza enjoyed a memorable two-stroke triumph when he lifted his second Philippine Open title on Sunday.


The 47-year-old Minoza, who had previously won the event back in 1998, romped home to a one-under-par 71 in the final round today. The cool champion scored a winning total of 10-under-par 278 and walked away with the top prize of US$47,550.


Finishing two strokes behind Minoza was runner-up and former winner Gerald Rosales who fired a superb 65 which was his best ever round at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club. China?s top golfer Liang Wen-chong struggled with his putting as he scored a 75 and finished five strokes adrift in third place for a 283 total.


With the result, Minoza rises to second place on the Asian Tour?s UBS Order of Merit with total earnings of US$55,250.


?I was looking at the leaderboard throughout the day but that was just to see where I stood. I was relaxed and concentrated on my own game. I knew Liang was close behind at one point but I wasn?t too affected. I was putting well this week and I?m really happy to come out on top today,? said Minoza.


Under tough playing conditions, Minoza bogeyed the first and second holes before pulling one back with a birdie on the third. He dropped a shot on the fifth hole but extended his lead through birdies on the sixth and ninth holes. Despite dropping a shot on the 11th, Minoza remained steady firing back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. A seven foot par putt on the final hole sealed the win for Minoza.


?My two bogeys in the opening stages didn?t bother me because I knew I could handle it and come back, and it showed today, I changed my swing last year too and I?m happy with that decision as I?m doing much better,? said the champion.


Minoza has been in action since the 1980s and has an impressive track record notching up 14 career wins in Asia that includes six career titles on the Japan Golf Tour. The Philippine Open this week was his 15th title in the region.


Minoza has been riding on good form coming into this event as he was in contention during the Volvo Masters of Asia where he claimed the runner-up position last December.


Second placed Rosales, who won the title back in 2000, smashed in an eagle at the par five 14th hole and coupled with six birdies against a lone bogey, he enjoyed his best score on a course which he has frequented the past three years.


?I had a great round and I?m happy to finish in second place,? said Rosales.


?The eagle was really good. I drove it well off the tee and used a three wood which left the ball 10 feet away from the pin. I chipped in for eagle and was delighted with that hole. This is my best score at Wack Wack Golf and Country so I am happy to finish well.


?I?ve been working hard for the past three years and I?m finally seeing the results now. I?ve been focusing on my swing with my coach Gerard Cantada and will continue with what we?ve been doing this season,? added Rosales.


Liang, who plays on the Japan Golf Tour together with Minoza, pilled on the pressure midway through but he failed to close the gap coming home with two late bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes.


?I did not have a very good round and my putting was not very consistent. I was alright midway through the back nine but struggled again in the last few holes,? said Liang, who carded two birdies against three bogeys.


?I am not too disappointed. But all credit to Minoza who played well today,? he said.


Chinese Taipei?s Lin Keng-chi finished fourth after a 66 six strokes behind the winner while Thailand?s Chapchai Nirat carded a 67 in fifth place.


The Philippine Open is the third leg on this year?s Asian Tour schedule which offers no fewer than 29 events to a total prize fund of US$47,550.


Leading final round scores

278 - Frankie Minoza (PHI) 73-67-67-71

280 - Gerald Rosales (PHI) 73-70-72-65

283 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 68-69-71-75

284 - Lin Keng-chi (TPE) 72-72-74-66

285 - Chapchai Nirat (THA) 73-73-72-67

286 - Anthony Kang (USA) 68-74-76-68, Richard Moir (AUS) 74-72-70-70, Neven Basic (AUS) 71-67-76-72, Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-74-69-74

287 - David Bransdon (AUS) 69-73-73-72

288 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 71-72-75-70, Benjie Magada (PHI) 71-68-78-71, Tony Carolan (AUS) 74-75-69-70, Taichiro Kiyota (JPN) 70-74-72-72, Digvijay Singh (IND) 69-72-75-72, Angelo Que (PHI) 75-72-68-73

289 - Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 71-71-75-72, Bryan Saltus (USA) 71-73-73-72, Jason Knutzon (USA) 68-72-75-74



ABOUT THE PHILIPPINE OPEN 2007


The Philippine Open will be staged at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club this week. It is organised by the National Golf Association of Philippines, supported by the First Gentleman?s Foundation and sanctioned by the Asian Tour. The main sponsors are ICTSI, San Miguel, Philippine Airlines (official carrier), PLDT, Srixon, Motorola, Taise Shimizu, Hanjin, Takenaka, JAC, Aboitiz, PAGCOR and Holiday Inn Galleria, Manila (Official Hotel). The tournament offers US$300,000 in total prize money and is the third leg on the Asian Tour schedule.


ABOUT THE ASIAN TOUR


The Asian Tour is the official regional sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia. The mission of the Asian Tour is to expand tournament golf so as to substantially enhance the careers of its members, thereby developing and growing golf in Asia while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status.


For further information, please contact Shenton Gomez at the Philippine Open media centre at.+632 7268316.