ANGELO Que birdied No. 18 for five-under 67 and a share of the lead with four others after one round of the Asian Development Tour’s ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship on Wednesday at Orchard’s Palmer course in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
Australia’s R.J. Caracella had two eagles and looked set to take the solo lead but bogeyed his final hole and settled for a share of the top spot with Que, Japan’s Yutaka Araki, Australia’s Matthew McBain and local ace Cassius Casas.
Carding 68s were Japan’s Yuki Usami and Masaru Takahashi, Clarke Lutton of Scotland, and local bets Arnold Villacencio and Clyde Mondilla.
“I’m really not comfortable with the opening hole here but I played very relaxed throughout since I don’t want to feel any pressure,” said Que, who nearly drove out-of-bounds on No. 1 but salvaged a par.
Que birdied four of the next 10 holes, dropped a shot on No. 13 but birdied two of the last five for nines of 34-33 in overcast skies.
Caracella went on a birdie-eagle start, birdied No. 13 then made the turn at 31 with another birdie on the 18th. But he stumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 4 and though he bounced back with an eagle on No. 6 and a birdie on the eighth, he missed the green and bogeyed the final hole.
Twenty-four others shot under-par rounds, including Jhonnel Ababa, Rufino Bayron, Korean Victor Lee and Malaysian Arie Irawan, who all fired 69s at the start of the in 72-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG.
Araki, McBain and Casas hit an eagle each to highlight their cards, with Araki completing a bogey-free round spiked by three birdies at the back nine.
Casas came out strong at Orchard following an early exit last week at Riviera where he missed the cut by one.
“The greens are fine and my putting was good. I really want to contend this week after missing the cut at Riviera,” said Casas, who won the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour’s final leg at Wack Wack last year and opened his campaign this year with victory at TCC.