Concepcion survives brutal first day at Langer, leads by two
With the demanding Langer layout baring its teeth and making all the big guns struggle in the opening round, Fidel Concepcion came out standing after shooting a two-under-par 69 for a two-shot lead over Anthony Fernando in the P2 million ICTSI Riviera Championship of the Philippine Golf Tour in Silang, Cavite.
Still in search of a breakthrough title as a professional, Concepcion, who spent the three-month lull of the local tour in the Asian Development Tour, eagled the par-5 10th and had three birdies in a 34-35 round that was marred by a double bogey 5 on the 12th and a bogey on No. 9.
“I’m just glad to be playing Philippine golf again,” Concepcion said after emerging as the only player to crack par on a punishing day. “I’ve led many times in the past and just couldn’t sustain it.”
Fernando, the former national titlist also seeking to win for the first time as a pro, closed out with a birdie to rescue a 71 and catch Kuresh Samanodi with Antonio Lascuña and Rico Depilo lurking another shot behind after returning 72s.
Juvic Pagunsan was working on a one-under card after nine holes, only to drop six strokes on the next two, counting a quadruple bogey 8 on the 11th to sign for a 75 like Clyde Mondilla, with Angelo Que signing for a birdie-less 78 that highlighted the struggles of the favorites.
Meanwhile, amateurs Mafy Singson and Rianne Malixi took the top two spots after the opening round of the P750,000 ladies championship that concluded before darkness after rounds of 72 and 73, respectively.
Singson, already a winner on tour, had five birdies against six bogeys, while Malixi, the consensus lady to beat here, had just one birdie in a 36-37.
Apple Fudulin and Chihiro Ikeda fired 74s to be two shots off the pace. INQ
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