ABE Avena fired a two-under-par 70 and took a four-shot lead over Ramontito Garcia in the opening round of the NGAP’s Philippine Senior Amateur championship on Wednesday at Mount Malarayat Golf Club in Lipa, Batangas .
The 56-year-old Avena, a former five-time club champion, had four birdies including three straight from No. 7. He made two bogeys including the closing hole.
Iggy Clavecilla assembled a 76 to stand six strokes behind in the 54-hole event.
Canlubang’s Mari Hechanova fired a 78 and former champion Rolly Viray was among four players who returned 79s.
Former champion Francis Gaston fired an 80 to match Dave Hernandez.
Meanwhile, Riviera president Danny Pizarro made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole of the Lobo nine and went on to shoot an 80 to trail Super Senior leader Ochiai Masatsugu by three in the 70-74 years old division of the event backed by the PLDT Amateur Golf Tour, Pacsports and Club Car.
Pizarro used a Callaway 8-iron and a Titleist ProV1x ball in acing the 128-yard hole, the ninth of his career.