RUFINO Bayron came up with a strong start to score five-under 67, taking a one-stroke ahead over Angelo Que and Tony Lascuña on Wednesday at the start of the P2 million ICTSI Splendido Classic at Splendido Taal Golf Club in Tagaytay.
Bayron birdied three of his first four holes and hit three more on his homeward nine, making just one bogey, on the par-3 No. 8, for nines of 34-33.
Que, a three-time Asian Tour winner but on a long title drought, also started on the back nine and made three birdies then hit back-to-back birdies from No. 1. However, he bogeyed the seventh and missed a share of the lead.
Lascuña, three-time PGT money list winner, hit four birdies in the first six holes in one of the late flights then traded two birdies for two bogeys for a share of second.
Jay Bayron bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 69, which was matched by Elmer Salvador, Dante Becierra, Michael Bibat, Rico Depilo and Lee Hyun Woo.
Miguel Tabuena, winner of the Manila Masters at Eastridge last year, failed to match the big guns’ big starts as he settled for pars in the first 10 holes. He birdied the par-5 11th but dropped a shot on No. 13 before closing out with two birdies in the last four holes to salvage a 70.