ZANIEBOY GIALON heads back to Cavinti in Laguna next week with a winning mindset for the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Caliraya Springs Championship.
His goal is to refine his short game that hampered his campaign in Bacolod City and Iloilo City last month.
“I’ve been practicing the last few weeks, focusing more on my short game after struggling in Bacolod and Iloilo,” said Gialon on his preparations for the P2.5 million event set April 18 to 21.
While he contended for the championship at Marapara, eventually finishing at fifth, the 32-year-old Davaoeño floundered in the final round at Sta. Barbara, limping with a 76 and ending up 13th.
But back at Caliraya Springs, Gialon will be doubly motivated for having emerged winner at the Arnold Palmer-designed layout which hosted its first Philippine Golf Tour (PGT) event last year.
He banked on his superb putting in beating Clyde Mondilla by four shots.
“Putting really worked for me at Caliraya Springs last year,” said Gialon, who anchored his first-round 67 on a 24-putt performance on his way to a wire-to-wire victory that snapped a five-year title spell in the country’s premier circuit put up by ICTSI.
But with the rest of the stellar field, including Bacolod leg winner Ira Alido and Iloilo champion Rupert Zaragosa, all geared up for the 72-hole championship, a spirited battle looms at the challenging par-72, 6,788-yard lush green undulating layout with an elevation of 1,200 feet above sea level.
“Everybody has a chance and the guy who’s in top shape will win,” Gialon said. “But I will try my very best to win again.”
Multi-titled Tony Lascuña, for one, is keen on having a swing at it after back-to-back runner-up finishes in Bacolod and Iloilo, so do Mondilla, Jhonnel Ababa, Michael Bibat, Joenard Rates, Reymon Jaraula, Jay Bayron, Jerson Balasabas and The Country Club Invitational back-to-back winner Guido van der Valk.
The young guns are likewise going all-out to crowd their seasoned rivals for top honors with Sean Ramos seeking to ride on his strong tied at fourth finish in Iloilo and the likes of Gab Manotoc, Ivan Monsalve, Kristoffer Arevalo, Ele Bisera, Jonas Magcalayo, Josh Jorge, and Korean Rho Hyun Ho out to make an impact in the third leg of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Others vying in the event, held simultaneously with the 54-hole Ladies PGT, are Jobim Carlos, Fidel Concepcion. Marvin Dumandan, Jun Bernis, Paul Echavez. Mars Pucay, Frankie Minoza, Dino Villanueva, Anthony Fernando and Gerald Rosales.