ICTSI rookie grabs Sherwood lead
MANILA, Philippines — Tour rookie Micah Shin fired a 2-under-par 70 Thursday and found himself the solo leader after Randy Garalde blew up with a 75 halfway through the P3 million ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic in Trece Martires City in Cavite.
Shin, a 17-year-old American-Korean from Davao, actually threw away a four-under card when he closed out bogey-bogey, but his 137 tally still gave him a two-shot lead over Garalde heading into the final 36 holes of the 72-hole event.
Garalde, a 10-year pro whose best finish was a tie for second twice, signed for a horrendous 41 on the front nine before rebounding with three birdies against a bogey in his final nine holes for 139, a stroke ahead of Jay Bayron, who fired a 40.
Canadian Rick Gibson, a former Philippine Open winner who joined the tour this year, scored a 69 for 141, with Clyde Mondilla, Jessie Balasabas and Edward Reyes staying in the mix with 142s after contrasting rounds.
Balasabas, who scored a 30 in his last nine to highlight an opening 67 on Wednesday, also shot a 75 like Reyes, while Mondilla, the hard-working bet from Del Monte, matched par and put himself in position again for a breakthrough triumph.
“I had no idea that I would be leading (after today),” said Shin, who survived the cut in the first three legs this year but finished no higher than joint 22nd.
While Shin was working wonders on the front nine, Garalde was in a daze as the 35-year-old opened up with three straight bogeys before dropping shots on the 6th and 9th hole to yield the lead to Shin.
Gerald Rosales, a former PH Open champ, Charles Hong and Art Arbole were all at 143 after a 68, 73 and 73, respectively as only 10 players remained under par at the windswept, ravine-laden layout south of Manila.
Frankie Miñoza gave himself a chance going into the final two days, shooting a 71 to be at level 144, in the company of Jonh Hay winner Jun Rates, who fired a 70, and Elmer Salvador, who also had a 70.
Only 41 players made the cut, which was pegged at a high 149.
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