Pucay shares top spot with Santos-Ocampo
DASMARIÑAS, Cavite—Veteran Mars Pucay and Carl Santos-Ocampo assembled bogey-free 4-under-par 68s yesterday to share a one-stroke lead over a bunch of pursuers after the first round of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at Palmer course here.
Angelo Que, playing in this tour for the first time this year, was among those who shot 69s with Antonio Lascuña lurking another stroke back in a tie with two others as the field conquered the well-manicured course because of ideal playing conditions.
Juvic Pagunsan, another big gun in the field, struggled to a 74 after dropping four strokes in his first seven holes on the back nine.
Pucay, whose last win in this circuit happened at Forest Hills two years ago, had a very steady 34-34, while Santos-Ocampo picked up three of his birds on the front nine.
Teen prodigy Miguel Tabuena churned out a 71 as a total of 16 players in the P2.5 million field cracked par with another five returning level 72s, counting Japan’s Toru Nakajima and Dutchman Guido Van Der Valk.
Marvin Dumandan, a multiple winner, also shot a 74, with Robert Pactolerin, the 1990 Philippine Open champion taking a break from the Japan Senior Tour, faring even worse with a 77.
“There were some chances of going even lower,” Pucay, the former teeboy at Baguio Country Club, said. “But overall, it was a very good round for me.”
The event is being backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.
“I hit it very well today,” Santos-Ocampo said.