ANGELO Que fired a five-under 66 to join six others on top of the leaderboard after the first round of the Aboitiz Invitational at the Manila Southwoods’ Legends course on Wednesday in Carmona, Cavite.
Malaysia’s Arie Irawan hit four straight birdies on the front nine en route to a bogey-free round, while also submitting 66s with preferred lies in play were Finland’s Janne Kaske, Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem, Singapore’s Eugene Sim, Japan’s Masaru Takahashi and Sweden’s Malcolm Kokocinski.
Heavy rains on Tuesday night rendered some spots on the par-71 layout muddy and with the rule switch, 44 players scored under par and 15 others matched par.
Irawan, winner at Eagle Ridge Invitational in April, had a chance to take the outright lead but flubbed a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th.
Que recovered from an opening bogey, on the short par-4 No. 10, hitting six birdies including back-from-back from No. 15.
“The front nine was a bit easier but at the back, it’s important to make critical putts on birdie holes,” said Que, a three-time champion on the Asian Tour and winner of two legs in this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Eight players hit four-under 67s, including Filipinos Jay Bayron, club bet Anthony Fernando, Clyde Mondilla, Tonton Asistio.
Leon Ang of Singapore was also at four under, matching Sejun Yoon of the US, Mark Leich of Australia and Thailand’s Nirun Sae Ueng.
“The course was set up for birdies and I took advantage of it. Overall my drives and iron shots were good but I just have to putt well more,” said Takahashi, out to snap a long title drought that started after he won an ADT event in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.
Defending champion Tony Lascuña also put himself in the mix with a 68, leading another big bunch at three-under, including Australia’s Jake Stirling, Taiwanese Chan Shih-chang, Orlan Sumcad, Art Arbole, Joenard Rates, Robert Pactolerin and amateur Jobim Carlos.
“I could’ve also shot a 66 but missed my birdie putts on Nos. 16 and 18,” said Lascuña.
Juvic Pagunsan, who led his team to the pro-am victory last Monday, kept a bogey-free card but hit just two birdies, finding himself down in joint 24th with Ferdie Aunzo, Aussie Paul Donahoo, Alvin Engino, American Micah Shin, India’s Himmat Rai, Artemio Murakami, Charles Hong and amateur Angelo Gandionco.
Eleven others scored 70, including Mars Pucay, John Kier Abdon, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Zanieboy Gialon, Reymon Jaraula and Miguel Ochoa.
PGT money list leader Miguel Tabuena had an even par 71 and was tied with Elmer Salvador, France’s Erwan Vieilledent, Americans James Bowen and Paul Harris, Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume, Cookie La’O, Benjie Magada, Rey Pagunsan, Rolando Marabe, Paul Echavez, Singapore’s Quincy Quek and Reagan Png, Australia’s Sean Riordan and Willliam Sjaichudin of Indonesia in the third ADT event in the country this year, sponsored by Aboitiz Equity Ventures and co-sanctioned by the ADT and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.