DUTCHMAN Guido Van der Valk caught fire after a long rain delay, closing out birdie-birdie-eagle for an eight-under 64 and a one-stroke clubhouse lead over Anthony Fernando in the $60,000 ICTSI Classic on Wednesday at Mt. Malarayat in Lipa, Batangas.
Jun Bernis fired a 67 highlighted by five straight birdies from No. 13 to gain a share of third with Americans Greg Moss and James Bowen, Australian David Lutterus, Thai Pasamet Pogamnerd and Angelo Que.
Jhonnel Ababa shot a 68 while Rufino Bayron and Joenard Rates each carded a 69 to tie Thais Pasavee Lertvilai and Sattaya Supupramaim in 10th.
First-round play was halted due to darkness, with 63 players yet to finish including Tony Lascuna, who was bogey-free at six under after 12 holes and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung at five-under also after 12.
Filipino-Australian Daniel Bringolf stood at four-under with three holes to play while Jake Stirling, also of Australia, fired four birdies in a bogey-free front nine.
Cassius Casas also had a solid start of three-under after nine holes along with Man O Im of the US, Canada’s Lindsay Renolds, club bet Orlan Sumcad, Australia’s Darren Tan, India’s Niall Turner and amateur William Sjaichuddin of Indonesia.
Frankie Miñoza was at two under after 15 holes, while Aboitiz Invitational champion Elmer Salvador was one over after 12.
Van der Valk’s fiery windup capped a superb round for the Dutch shotmaker, who hit five birdies in close range to negate a lone bogey on No. 3 of Mt. Lobo layout.
Lift-clean-and-place was used and Van der Valk’s eight-under score couldn’t be considered even with the record 64 posted by Thai Chawalit Plaphol in 2010 on the Asean PGA Tour.
Still, it was enough for the provisional solo lead with half of the record 136-player field still to complete play.
Van der Valk birdied four of the first six holes, dropped a shot on No. 3 but birdied No. 5 before coming through with a sizzler of a finish for two 32s to get past Fernando.
Fernando flubbed a birdie putt from eight feet on the ninth that would have given him a piece of the lead. But he still came away with a solid round in the second of two Asian Development Tour legs in the country.
Fernando started at the back nine, hitting two birdies before picking up five shots in the first seven holes of the front nine.
“My driving was superb and my putting clicked,” said Fernando, who had one tap-in birdie, three from pin-high lengths, two from 16 feet and another a pitch-in birdie while salvaging a par on No. 5 after an errant drive. “My goal was to reach the green and make birdies as many as possible.”
Players return to the course early Thursday to complete their opening rounds before the second round of the event sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.