ELMER Salvador picked up where he left off, firing a 68 to grab a share of the first round lead in the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open on Wednesday at Luisita Golf and Country Club.
Winner at Splendido two weeks ago, Salvador came up with a fine start in Tarlac, highlighting his round with three birdies on the front nine although he bogeyed the two par-3s.
Salvador shares the lead with Tony Lascuña, who stumbled with a bogey on the par-4 No. 7, his third-to-last hole.
They are a stroke clear of Ramil Bisera and Rico Depilo.
“I’ve been putting well lately but one has to be consistent from tee to green here at Luisita,” said Salvador.
Lascuna is eyeing his fifth victory of the season.
“I played relaxed today compared with my stint at Splendido,” said Lascuña, who led in the first two rounds at Splendido but wound up third.
“Except for my late bogey, I played a solid game today,” Lascuña.
Marvin Dumandan carded a 70 to lead the big group at two-under par, including Jhonnel Ababa, Ferdie Aunzo, Jay Bayron, Dutchman Guido Van der Valk and Americans Micah Shin and Paul Harris.
Australia’s Peter Stojanovski recovered after going two two-over, hitting three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 12 to salvage a one-under 71 for joint 12th with compatriot Ben Ratcliffe Mhark Fernando and Rey Pagunsan.
Frederick Park, another Australian bet, shot a 72 in a tie with 10 others, including three-leg winner Clyde Mondilla, who opened his campaign with a two-birdie, two-bogey effort in the penultimate stage of the 16-event circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Ping and Yamaha.