JAY Bayron birdied three of the last five holes for a seven-under 65 and a one-stroke lead after one round of the ICTSI Summit Point Classic on Tuesday at Summit Point Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
Top money earner on the Asian Development Tour in 2012, Bayron put himself in position to win on the domestic tour. He hit four birdies on the front nine before suffering a birdie on the par-5 ninth hole.
Rico Depilo came up with a bogey-free 66 and shared second spot with Keanu Jahns.
Jhonnel Ababa, Orlan Sumcad and Korea’s Park Jun Hyeok hit 67s for joint fourth.
Rufino Bayron scored a 68, while Tony Lascuña tied Elmer Salvador were in joint eighth at 69.
Cassius Casas, Michael Bibat, Ferdie Aunzo, Zanieboy Gialon, Rolando Marabe, Clyde Mondilla and Korea’s Park Jun Song stood in joint 10th at 70.
Miguel Tabuena rallied with two birdies in the last five holes to salvage a 71 and remain in early contention in the P1.5 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Others at one-under par were John Kier Abdon, Jun Bernis, Glenn de Leon, Anthony Fernando, Randy Garalde, James Ryan Lam, Jet Mathay, Rey Pagunsan, Jan Tambogon, Dutch Guido Van der Valk and Korea’s Kim Yoo Han.
Arnold Villacencio carded a 72 and was tied with Tonlits Asistio, Mars Pucay, Miguel Ochoa and Kevin Tayao.
Depilo highlighted his round with a superb 6-iron second shot from 205 yards on the par-5 No. 3 to tap-in range for eagle. He then birdied the last two par 5s on Nos. 5 and 9.
“I’m not a bit surprised with my score. I’ve shot a couple of 66s in the first round in the past, including one where I almost missed the cut the following day,” said Depilo, who had posted a couple of wins, one in a 54-hole tournament at Villamor and the other in partnership with fellow pro Robert Pactolerin.
“But I hope to contend for this one. I’ll try just to hand in there and see what happens,” added the 43-year-old Depilo, a Davaoeno who calls the Las Piñas Driving Range his home.
Jahns also made a sizzling start at the back with four birdies in the first seven holes, added another on No. 2 then matched Depilo’s eagle on the third. But he bogeyed Nos. 6 and 7 and needed to birdie the par-5 ninth to stay in joint second in the tournament backed by Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, NikeGolf, Pacsports, Callaway, Srixon, KZG, Sharp and FootJoy.