Bibat recalls old form, fires 64 at Palos Verdes
Out of the radar during the drum up for the ICTSI Palos Verdes Championship, Michael Bibat grabbed the spotlight Wednesday by firing a flawless 8-under-par 64 for a one-stroke lead over Ferdie Aunzo at the well-manicured layout in the heart of Davao.
The last man to win the event here in 2013, Bibat recalled his old form by gunning down five of his eight birdies on the front nine for a 31-33 card, with Aunzo also playing bogey-free and knocking in four straight birdies from No. 12.
The talented field had a heyday on the well-manicured course, with a total of 21 players cracking par and two others, Micah Shin and Miguel Tabuena, shooting error-free 66s to trail by two shots.
Elmer Salvador, the Riviera leg winner last week who is shooting a second straight title for the first time in his career, was bunched in a six-man group that shot 69s.
Antonio Lascuña, the reigning three-time Order of Merit champion still looking to win for the first time this year, fired a 70 to be in the company of Mark Fernando and four others trailing the pace by six shots.
There were also seven players who matched par, including Jay Bayron and former Philippine team spearhead Anthony Fernando.
Former Philippine Open champions Artemio Murakami, Cassius Casas and burly Robert Pactolerin signed for 73s and would need to go very low in today’s second round to put themselves in prime positions for the weekend.
The Palos Verdes leg is the first of two straight events that the city of Davao will be hosting, with Apo Golf the site of next week’s action.