Teener Micah Shin pounced on Randy Garalde’s frontside meltdown then survived a shaky windup to salvage a two-under 70 and wrest a two-stroke lead halfway through the rich ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services Inc.) Sherwood Hills Classic at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite.
Shin, 17, suddenly found himself pacing a stellar field with a seven-under 137 as Garalde faded with a 75 and slid to second at 139.
“I didn’t expect to lead. I just played my game although I had some lucky shots to compensate for my so-so putting,” said Shin, who finished tied for 22nd at ICTSI Splendido, wound up second-to-last at ICTSI John Hay before turning in a joint 25th place finish at ICTSI Eagle Ridge.
Garalde’s early foldup also enabled a host of players to close in with Splendido leg winner Jay Bayron moving to third at 140 after a second 70, Canadian Rick Gibson pooling a 141 after a 69 and Clyde Mondilla matching par 72 to join Jessie Balasabas and Edward Reyes, who both struggled with 75s, at fifth at 142.
“I lost my concentration after missing four putts from close range,” rued Garalde, who sizzled with a solid 64 on Wednesday and kept his three-shot lead over Shin intact by matching his rival’s 34 at the front with his own version of three birdies against a bogey at the back.
But the 35-year-old Garalde lost his rhythm and touch at the front while trying to pad his lead in windy condition, bogeying the first three holes and losing strokes on Nos. 6 and 9 in a birdie-less 41 to drop off the leaderboard.
While Garalde faded at the finish, Shin held on with a gutsy 36 to find himself a bewildered leader halfway through the P3 million event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.