JAY Bayron made five birdies on the back nine for a four-under 68 and a two-stroke lead over Charles Hong and two others after the first round of the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Wednesday in Trece Martinez, Cavite.
It was a huge recovery for the Asian Development Tour money list topnotcher, who suffered two bogeys in his first three holes in the P2.5 million kickoff leg of this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Bayron actually launched his fightback with a birdie on the par-5 No. 8 then hit birdies on Nos. 10 and 11.
“I just got lucky,” said Bayron as he downplayed his fiery windup that included birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 17.
Hong, Ferdie Aunzo and unheralded Christopher delos Santos all carded 70s
Hong, who won at Pueblo de Oro last year, matched Bayron at three-under with a birdie on No. 15 but fumbled with a bogey on the 17th to fall into a tie with Ferdie Aunzo and Christopher De los Santos at 70.
Marvin Dumandan was three under through 15 but bogeyed two of the last three holes for a 71 in a tie with Orlan Sumcad and Miguel Tabuena, a two-leg winner in last year’s staging of the annual tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. and sponsored by ICTSI.
"I missed short par putts," said Dumandan, a Davao native who lives in nearby Silang, Cavite and trains at Sherwood regularly, in Filipino.
Sumcad also got to three under through 15 holes but had a couple of errant drives and bogeyed Nos. 16 and 18.
"My driving went awry at the back that slowed me down," said the 39-year-old Sumcad in Filipino.
Artemio Murakami, a former leg winner who had to go through qualifying school to gain playing rights this year, matched par 72 for joint eighth with former Philippine Open champion Gerald Rosales.
Asian Tour campaigner Mars Pucay stood in a big group at 73, including Elmer Saban, Ruben Sasutil, Danny Zarate, Japanese qualifier Tomokazu Yoshinaga and Rufino Bayron in the tournament also backed by Nike Golf, Mizuno, Srixon, Callaway, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp Cleveland Golf, Pacsports, Foot Joy, Titleist and Empire Golf and Sports Shop with Balls TV, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.