ORLAN SUMCAD rebounded from a triple-bogey mishap on No. 2 with three birdies in the last six holes for a four-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Angelo Que at the start of the P1 million Iloilo Golf Challenge in Sta. Barbara.
Sumcad, still chasing a win on the domestic tour for over a decade, started on the back nine and actually had a fine start with four birdies. But he drove out-of-bounds on the second and went on to score triple bogey.
He fought back with birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 before making another on the final hole to wrest the lead back.
Que, thrice a winner on the Asian Tour, birdied three of the last five holes for a 67, while rookie pro Clyde Mondilla put himself in early contention with a 68.
Jhonnel Ababa, who nipped Jay Bayron in a playoff to rule this leg last year, outplayed fancied Juvic Pagunsan in the last flight, finishing with a bogey-free 69 to tie six others for fourth in a crowded leaderboard.
Others at one-under were Albin Engino, Randy Garalde, Kim Chang Hoi, Rey Pagunsan, Peter VIllaber and last week’s Negros Occidental Classic winner Zanie Boy Gialon.
The 22-year-old Gialon, who edged Order of Merit frontrunner Tony Lascuna in a playoff to top the rain-shortened Bacolod leg, birdied two of the first four holes at the back but bogeyed the par-5 No. 14 before settling for pars the rest of the way.
Pagunsan, fresh from his Major debut at the British Open, found the quaint Sta. Barbara layout not to his liking, turning in a birdie-less six-over 76 marred by a double bogey on the 18th.
Last year’s topnotcher on the Asian Tour and Philippine tour’s money list stood in 53rd place with seven others, including Artemio Murakami, and in danger of missing the 40-player cut of the 54-hole tournament.