Jay Bayron fired an eagle-spiked three-under 69 then watched Marvin Dumandan bogey the 18th of the Norman course to force a two-way tie for the lead at the start of the P3 million International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Eagle Ridge Classic at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Cavite.
Bayron, seeking a second victory in three legs of this year’s ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour after coming from behind to beat brother Rufino at ICTSI Splendido last month, bucked a bogey start and tough pin placements with an eagle on the par-5 No. 3 and three birdies against another bogey to set his title bid in motion with a 34-35 card.
With the wind at manageable level, majority of the starting 93-player roster still found the going tough and rough at both the Norman and Faldo courses, venues of the event for the first two rounds, with the two layouts’ unreceptive greens bedeviling the games of the field and producing a slew of three-putt miscues.
Only seven players broke par while just three shot 72s in an otherwise fine day at the sprawling golf complex. The field, divided into two, switches courses in today’s second round with the top 40 plus ties moving into the final two rounds at Aoki.
The former Order of Merit winner three-putted No. 1 but hacked a 3-wood second shot from 280 yards to within 10 feet and made it for eagle. He rolled in eight footer for birdie on the fourth, made another three-putt bogey on No. 11 before rolling a pair of 15-footers on Nos. 14 and 16 for birdies.
Dumandan, out to snap a long title spell in the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., gunned down five birdies inside seven feet, including a flubbed eagle putt from 16 feet on No. 11, but reeled back with two bogeys, including a muffed par-putt from seven feet after missing the 18th green that could’ve given him the solo lead.
Dante Becierra, the former Hong Kong Amateur Open winner still in search of a maiden win on the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit, shot five birdies against three bogeys at Faldo to seize solo third at 70 while fancied Tony Lascuna birdied Faldo’s last hole to card a 71 for joint fourth with Clyde Mondilla, Orlan Sumcad and former OOM champion Elmer Salvador.