Bibat out front after a fiery 66 | Inquirer Sports

Bibat out front after a fiery 66

/ 10:04 PM September 24, 2015

Michael Bibat. Photo from INQUIRER Golf Facebook Page.

Michael Bibat. Photo from INQUIRER Golf Facebook Page.

TRECE MARTIREZ, Cavite—Michael Bibat fired an eagle-spiked six-under-par 66 yesterday to surge ahead by four shots in the P3.5-million ICTSI Tournament Players Championship at Sherwood Hills Golf Club.

Counting his bogey-free 68 Wednesday, Bibat tallied a 10-under 134, four clear of Tony Lascuña who shot a 70 for 138 halfway through the local tour’s season-ending tournament.

Thriving in the calm conditions of an early tee-off, Bibat drilled in back-to-back birdies on both nines, from Nos. 5 and 14, and highlighted his 32-34 card with a sizzling 40-foot eagle putt off a 3-wood second shot from 255 yards on the par-5 No. 8.

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Erstwhile leader Cassius Casas stumbled with a 73 and fell back to 139.

Casas shared third spot with Zanieboy Gialon and Korean Park Jun-hyeok, who both carded 71s; Clyde Mondilla, who tallied 69, and Elmer Salvador, (67).

Bibat attributed his resurgence to a little set-up tip from fellow pro Jay Bayron after missing the cut in last week’s Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open at Luisita.

“I struggled with my driving last week and I asked Jay (Bayron) to help me check it,” said Bibat. “He said I needed a little adjustment on my set-up.”

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Relishing his first bogey-free 36-hole stint in a seven-year pro career, Bibat said he needs to be consistent in the last two rounds to end a nearly yearlong victory drought. He last won at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2013.

Bibat’s readiness to prevail again will be tested as Lascuña and Salvador join him in today’s top flight.

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Jhonnel Ababa hobbled home with a 73 to drop to joint eighth with Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who recovered with a 66, Orlan Sumcad, who made a 67, and Rufino Bayron, who matched par 72, at 140.

Bayron also shot 72 for a 141 and share of 12th spot with Charles Hong and Arnold Villacencio, who both had 71s, and Korean Woo Seong-bin (72).

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TAGS: 2013, cut, Jay Bayron, Salvador

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