Four share Bacolod PGT lead
MURCIA, Negros Occidental — Reymon Jaraula stood out from a star-studded group that teed off late, shooting an eagle-aided five-under-par 65 to forge a four-way tie for the lead after the opening round of the P2.5 million ICTSI Bacolod Challenge here.
Jaraula hit four straight birdies from No. 12 to also highlight a 33-32 card and climb into a tie with Michael Bibat, Jay Bayron and the Spaniard Marcos Pastor over the tree-lined layout.
The veteran Richard Sinfuego shot a 66 to be one behind the leading group, with Rico Depilo and Arnold Villacencio another stroke behind.
Reigning Philippine Open champion Clyde Mondilla and Juvic Pagunsan carded 68s to keep the leaders in sight, and with three rounds left, are expected to figure prominently in the weekend.
Mondilla also had an eagle and three birdies that went with three bogeys, while Pagunsan, taking a break from his lucrative Japan PGA Tour campaign, gunned down four birdies against two bogeys.
“My driving was quite okay but I struggled a bit with my putting,” said the soft-spoken Jaraula in Filipino. He is holding a piece of the lead for only the second time in his career.
Bibat, seeking to end a long title spell, scorched the frontside with five straight birdies and bucked a two-birdie, two-bogey game at the back to put himself in contention after finishing joint second at CFdC in Danao City.
“I played well, stayed focused and didn’t mind the scores of the rest,” said Bibat, who rued his being impatient at the back that led to bogeys on Nos. 10 and 17. “But I had a good game overall and got some good breaks.”
In contrast, Bayron leaned on a fiery backside of five birdies in the last eight holes to card a 35-30.
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