Balasabas survives TCC test, leads Invitational by a stroke
STA. Rosa, Laguna—Jessie Balasabas blasted out of the greenside trap for birdie on the 17th to salvage a level par 72 on Tuesday and take a one-shot lead over a severely-battered field that posted all sorts of horrendous scores in the opening round of the rich The Country Club Invitational.
The reigning Philippine Masters champion stood out—albeit slightly—on a punishing test of golf at the windswept layout south of Manila, needing that birdie to hold the lead in this tournament for the first time in his career and gain the much needed confidence heading into three more rounds of demanding shotmaking.
“To say that it was a punishing day is an understatement,” Balasabas told the Inquirer in Filipino as all the others behind him had a lot of misadventures to tell, counting reigning PGT Order of Merit champion Jobim Carlos, who submitted an 85 after signing for a horrific 13 on the par-4 fourth hole.
Angelo Que and Antonio Lascuna, past champions both, holed out with bogeys for 73s like reigning Open champion Clyde Mondilla, who failed to protect a two-under card after 10 holes with bogeys on Nos. 14, 16 and 17.
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