Pacto, Frankie rekindle old Masters rivalry at Villamor
Frankie Miñoza and Robert Pactolerin, two pillars of Philippine golf who had a great rivalry almost three decades back, are going to headline the P2 million ICTSI Philippine Masters at Villamor where they had some great clashes remembered to this day.
With the current stars committed to play in tournaments overseas, Miñoza and Pactolerin and the most recent ex-champion, Jessie Balasabas, will have much of the attention early in the 72-hole championship to be played over the toughest public course in the country.
Both are two-time champions, with Pactolerin winning his in back-to-back fashion with Miñoza in the final group of that last title in 1992 which no less than the late President Fidel V. Ramos—a golf nut—watched from the first drive to the last putt.
“It was very memorable,” Pactolerin, who turns 62 on July 3, told the Inquirer in Filipino over the phone, a couple of hours after a practice round at the tree-lined layout he calls home. “Frankie and I had a lot of memorable battles, not just in the Masters. We have also remained good friends having led so many Philippine teams.”
Miñoza is enjoying a rejuvenation of late at 63, contending in the last couple of Philippine Golf Tour events.
“He is still one of the best out there,” Pactolerin said of Miñoza, a many-time national squad teammate. “He will still be a force out there next week. He will always be a force on a tough golf course.”
Pactolerin sees anyone shooting around “six, eight-under” hoisting the title, as Villamor has stood the test of modern technology over the years despite basically staying the same.
“If they decide to narrow the fairways and harden the greens, I don’t see the winning score going lower than six-under,” Pactolerin said. “A forgiving setup would probably yield something like eight-under for four rounds.”
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