DASMARIÑAS--Playing in his first tournament since the demise of his wife, senior campaigner Ryan Abdon made it matter on Monday by gunning down an eagle and two birdies for a System 36 net four-under-par 68 to win the overall title in the blockbuster Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Miles Elite invitational golf tournament.
The 67-year-old, playing out of Manila Southwoods, holed his third shot on the par-5 second hole of the Palmer layout--his first in the shotgun start event--coming out of thick rough from about 20 yards using a 54-degree wedge for what proved to be the difference in the hotly-contested centerpiece division.
After the awarding of the trophy and the 140,000 flier miles that went with it, Abdon couldn't help but be emotional since he could not share this win with his wife, Amy, who passed on Sept. 12 after a two-month battle with liver cancer.
"This is for her," Abdon, who also won the Class A plum at Eagle Ridge several years back," said. "At the start of the round, since this is the first time I played a tournament since her passing, I whispered a prayer and told her that I would win this for her."
The tournament was held for the first time in five years and it couldn't have had a more popular winner than Abdon, who owns a landfill business in Cebu where he flies to a lot, hence his yearly invitation to the exclusive 18-hole tournament.
"We are deeply honored to see you all here today," PAL president Capt. Stanley Ng said before the start of the awarding ceremonies. "I wish to thank all of you not only for playing but also for sticking to us even during the pandemic."
That eagle also was worth another 20,000 miles, even as Edmund Yee, the former Glowing Goldie for the University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP, ran away with the Seniors' title after shooting a gross 79 for a 71.
Jose Emmanuel Angeles walked away with the low gross trophy after shooting a 70. The victory was worth 120,000 miles for Angeles.
Vicente Solon fired a net 68 to win the Class A championship over Jesus Romero, who nipped Arnold Corporal via a countback with five birdies after both had returned 69s.
Former Far Eastern U basketball star Jens Knuttel had three birdies in shooting a 70, nipping Alex Revilla for the Class B crown via a countback. Eric Lim settled for third also after losing in the tiebreaker to Revilla, who had two birdies, and seven pars.
Richie Santos, an executive of the Cinderella chain of companies, was the Class C champion after shooting a gross 78 for a 69 at the Player layout, nipping Ariel Merilleno, who fired a 70. Edwin Ermita was third also with a 70.
The organizing Mabuhay Miles division of the country's flag carrier made sure that the "Reviving Legends" edition of the event would be a success as food and drinks overflowed with the players serenaded by Mel Villenas and the AMP Band and the sultry Renee Olstead. PR