Korean teen again has first round lead

Korean teen again has first round lead

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:15 AM June 05, 2024

Korean teen again has first round lead

Hyun Ho Rho gives a thumbs-up to his first round effort. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

South Korea’s Hyun Ho Rho got off to a monster start for the second straight Philippine Golf Tour event on Tuesday, shooting seven birdies in a six-under-par 66 for a one-shot lead over Jonel Ababa in the P2.5 million ICTSI Lakewood Championship in Nueva Ecija.

Rho had five of those birdies in the front nine to lead a tournament after the first round in two weeks, or since firing a bogey-free 67 at the start of the Philippine Masters at tough-as-nails Villamor in Pasay.

The 19-year-old made the most out of Lakewood’s wide fairways and benign playing conditions, picking up his last birdie from five feet on the par-5 18th.


And after learning his lessons in finishing second at Villamor, Rho has an idea what needs to be done in the second round.

“I think it’s going to be the same thing (for the second round),” Rho said. “The course is very wide, and there are good scoring opportunities despite the tricky greens.

“I didn’t drive it pretty straight, but I hit my approaches pretty close to the pins.”Ababa, meanwhile, got off to an impressive start for the first time since winning the Apo Golf stop a couple of months back, as a 65 left him just a shot behind like Japan’s Ozeki Kakeru.

There were 17 players who cracked par, with the dangerous Antonio Lascuña just three behind after a 69 like five others counting Rupert Zaragosa and rookie Gab Manotoc.


The third big gun in the field after Ababa and Lascuña, Clyde Mondilla, struggled to a 72 after a lukewarm day of two birdies against the same number of bogeys.

“Everything in my game worked well,” said Ababa in Filipino as he expressed confidence in contending for a title since that win in Davao, with the course playing less than 6,700 yards, which is relatively short by the tour’s standards.


“If I can play this way for the next three days, I will have a good chance,” the reigning Order of Merit winner added. “My confidence has returned. So that’s good.” INQ

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