ELMER Salvador rediscovered his fierce form to shoot a five-under 67 in windy conditions for a one-stroke lead over Jhonnel Ababa at the start of the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club’s Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Salvador, who had three top 10 finishes in the first five legs of the inaugural Philippine Golf Tour Asia late last year, birdied six of the first 12 holes although the Davaoeño shotmaker stumbled with bogeys on Nos. 14, hit birdie on No. 15 and again suffered bogey on the 17th.
Ababa birdied the par-3 No. 17 to stay within striking distance at 68.
“I played solid, everything was in place, including my irons and putting. I just hope to keep this form or play even better in the next three days,” said Salvador, who last won at Splendido in 2016.
Thailand’s Tommy Mansuwan stumbled at the finish and shot a 70 for joint third with Joenard Rates and Dutchman Guido Van der Valk in the $100,000 (P5 million) PGT Asia event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Benjie Magada and American Josh Salah shot 71s for joint sixth, while Luisita winner Justin Quiban shot 72 to tie six others at eighth in the tournament backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc.