THAILAND’s Pasavee Lertvilai fired a 69 for a a one-stroke lead over two Filipinos as Miguel Tabuena withdrew due to injury in the first round of the ICTSI Wack Wack Championship on Wednesday.
Lertvilai gunned down four birdies in an eight-hole stretch from No. 9 that negated his lone bogey on the par-4 No. 12, where Tabuena hit a tree root beneath the ball and hurt his right wrist.
The 23-year-old Tabuena, winner of the PGT Asia kickoff leg at Southwoods, withdrew to avoid aggravating the injury. He was three over with six holes to play.
Justin Quiban and Zanieboy Gialon fired 70s to share second spot, while Tony Lascuna and Rolando Marabe Jr. stood a shot farther back at 71.
Benjie Magada, Jhonnel Ababa and Dino Villanueva matched par 72s on the tight par-72 layout.
Quiban, joint fifth in the Asian Tour’s Manila Masters at Southwoods, hit three birdies early but stumbled with a double-bogey on the tricky No. 12 before hitting birdie on the par-5 No. 13.
Gialon also fired three birdies in the first 10 holes before a shaky finish.
Lertvilai settled for pars in the first eight holes before birdying two of the next three and rebounding with birdies on Nos. 13 and 16 from a missed-green bogey on No. 12 to grab the lead in the $100,000 (around P5 million) championship sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Tabuena, seeking to make up for a last-hole foldup at Southwoods, parred the first eight holes but dropped a stroke on the ninth and wound up with a 6 on No. 12.
“He didn’t know there was a thick root when he hit the ball inside the trees. He screamed and I advised him to stop so as not to aggravate the injury,” said Tabuena’s mother Lorna.
Tabuena is preparing to play against some of the world’s best in the US$2 million Hong Kong Open next week.
Thailand’s Wisut Artjanawat hit three birdies but made four bogeys to drop to joint ninth at 73 with Michael Bibat, Aussie Andrew Campbell, Rico Depilo, Americans Nicolas Paez and Lexus Keoninh, James Ryan Lam, Gerald Rosales, Orlan Sumcad and Japan’s Hosho Takahashi 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.