Casas fires 66 for 2-shot lead | Inquirer Sports

Casas fires 66 for 2-shot lead

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 11:40 PM November 06, 2013

CASSIUS Casas: Out to end long title drought.

CANLUBANG, Laguna—Veteran Cassius Casas gunned down seven birdies in shooting a 6-under par 66 yesterday that boosted the 2001 Philippine Open champion to a  two-stroke lead over Jun Bernis after the first round of the P1-million ICTSI Canlubang Invitational at the North course here.

With a slightly-adjusted swing, Casas finished with just one bogey in a 34-32 card at the tree-lined layout to move in good position of winning for the first time since the 2010 Del Monte leg in Bukidnon.

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Defending champion Zannie Boy Gialon fired a 69 like Charles Hong and Japan’s Toru Nakajima  Jonel Ababa and Jessie Balasabas, former members of the multi-titled Cangolf squad in the PAL Interclub, shot 70s like Orlan Sumcad.

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Former national amateur champion Clyde Mondilla, Paul Echavez and Richard Abaring fired 71s, with Mars Pucay, Marvin Dumandan, Randy Garalde, Anthony Fernando, Lawrence Celestino and Jun Rates carding level 72s to stay in the hunt  in the 54-hole tournament offering P200,000 to the winner.

Mark Fernando, the Riviera leg champion two weeks ago, got off to a shaky start with a 74 and would need to put up a truly low score  in the final two rounds to figure prominently.

“I feel good about my chances this week. I adjusted my swing a bit and had good looks at the target,” said Casas, in Filipino.

Fernando was tied with Artemio Murakami, the former Philippine Open champ and 2011 winner at the adjacent South course, Midlands winner Carl Santos-Ocampo and Elmer Saban, who ruled the Splendido leg last month, also struggling.

Casas gunned down three straight birdies from No. 2 all inside nine feet as he fully exploited  the lift-clean-and-place rule by firing at pins with reckless abandon.

His only bogey came on the par-3 sixth hole, where he missed the green.

“He played on a different level,” said Gialon of Casas, who snapped a long title drought in the 2010 ICTSI Del Monte Championship when three players were disqualified on a final round infraction.

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TAGS: Cassius Casas, Golf, ICTSI Canlubang Invitational

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