MANILA, Philippines – Rufino Bayron came through with two strings of birdies on both nines to fire a five-under 67 and grab a one-stroke lead over Zanie Boy Gialon and two others at the start of the P1-million ICTSI Ranchos Palos Verdes Classic at the Palos Verdes layout in Davao on Wednesday.
Bayron gunned down three straight birdies from No. 6 then strung up four straight from No. 12 to spike his 34-33 card in a day of torrid scoring at the long, rolling layout.
The former amateur hotshot could’ve built a two-shot cushion if not for a bogey mishap on the final hole. He had two other bogeys and a birdie on the first hole on a hot, humid day.
That enabled Gialon, Carl Santos-Ocampo and Miguel Ochoa to stay within striking distance. Gialon closed out with two birdies in the last four holes at the front for a 68.
Santos-Ocampo was at it again, firing a bogey-free 34-34 round in tough condition in the afternoon, while the unheralded Ochoa also put in a pair of 34s from six birdies against two bogeys.
Three players, led by former Philippine Open champion Gerald Rosales, stood at three-under 69, while Jun Bernis shot a 70 and five more turned in one-under 71s, ensuring another wide open battle for top P200,000 purse in this 12th leg of the 15-stage ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
The other backers of the tournament are Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.