VETERAN Benjie Magada and sophomore pro Justin Quiban fired four-under 68s for a one-stroke lead in the first round of the ICTSI Manila Masters on Wednesday at the Eastridge Golf Club in Binangonan, Rizal.
Magada, who missed the cut in the Philippine Golf Tour’s kickoff leg at Anvaya, hit three birdies in the last five holes.
The 20-year-old Quiban, No. 25 on the money list in his rookie year, sizzled with four birdies on the back nine.
“My game clicked despite tough condition with the wind blowing from all over,” said Magada, who birdied the last two holes inside 10 feet to set in motion his bid to end a long title spell in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Tony Lascuña and Japan’s Genki Okada were two strokes off.
Lascuña bucked a bout with arthritis and shot a 69 for joint third with 19-year-old Okada.
Lascuna overcame a bogey on No. 15 with six birdies in the next nine holes but finished with back-to-back bogeys on missed green mishaps and dropped out of the lead.
“The wind blew hard and the greens are really tough to read,” said Lascuña, out to post his first victory on the mountaintop course.
“I’ve played and won in so many courses but here, so I’m really motivated this week.”
Angelo Que put on a strong start of three birdies before fumbling with two bogeys and wound up with a 71 in the P3 million event offering P550,000 to the winner.
Okada, a first-time qualifier who skipped the Anvaya leg, hit birdies on Nos. 5, 8, 10 and 13, missing a chance to take the lead when he bogeyed the par-3 No. 16.
Jay Bayron and Cassius Casas matched par 72s for joint 16th with Rico Depilo and Francis Morilla in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT.