Angelo Que birdied the 18th in one of the late flights to shoot a five-under 67 and force a five-way logjam for the lead, one stroke ahead of another five-man group in a crowded leaderboard at the start of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at Orchard’s Palmer course in Dasmariñas, Cavite on Wednesday.
Que joined 33 others in pounding the par-72 layout, which virtually lay defenseless in the absence of the wind and yielded a number of eagles.
Que nearly drove out-of-bounds on No. 1 but salvaged a par just the same to set his bid in motion.
He birdied four of the next 10 holes, dropped a shot on No. 13 but birdied two of the last five to string a 34-33 card in overcast skies for a share of the lead in the 72-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. .
Australian R.J. Caracella actually missed grabbing the solo lead after gunning down two eagles as he holed out with a bogey on the par-4 ninth, the mishap underlining his shaky finish after a flawless, eagle-spiked start at the back.
He went on a birdie-eagle start, birdied No. 13 then made the turn at 31 with another birdie on the 18th. But he stumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 4 and though he bounced back with an eagle on No. 6 and a birdie on the eighth, he missed the green and bogeyed the final hole.
Earlier, Japanese Yutaka Araki, Australian Matthew McBain and local ace Cassius Casas all turned in 67s as the five-man lead pack took a one-shot lead over Japan’s Yuki Usami and Masaru Takahashi, Scot Clarke Lutton, and local bets Arnold Villacencio and Clyde Mondilla, who all carded 68s.
Twenty-four others shot under-par rounds, including Jhonnel Ababa, Rufino Bayron, Korean Victor Lee and Malaysian Arie Irawan, who all fired 69s, while 12 others matched par.
Araki, McBain and Casas hit an eagle each to highlight their respective five-under cards with Araki completing a bogey-free round spiked by three birdies at the back where he started.