Jobim Carlos rode on a blistering frontside charge to cushion the impact of a shaky windup, carding a four-under 68 and wresting a one-stroke lead over American Nicolas Paez and Nathan Park of Australia at the start of the ICTSI Philippine Masters at the Villamor Golf Club yesterday.
Marvin Dumandan used his power to the hilt and produced six birdies but he stumbled with two bogeys and a double-bogey to settle for 70 and a share of fourth with Fil-German Keanu Jahns and Japanese Genki Okada and Seiji Yanagisawa while Tony Lascuña led eight others with 71 as the field struggled on soggy fairways of the military layout due to overnight rain.
Carlos took advantage of receptive greens and rattled off four straight birdies from No. 6 coming out of a rain delay for a tournament-best opening 30. But the former amateur hotshot wavered at the back and fumbled with bogeys on Nos. 11, 15 and 16 before birdying the par-5 closing hole to save a 38 and a 68.
“I had a fantastic start. I got to spots where I wanted and the greens were soft after the rain in the mid-morning,” said Carlos, back in the groove after his game took a downswing following a playoff loss to Clyde Mondilla at the Manila Masters at Eastridge last year.
The early starters cashed in on good scoring condition but struggled after the downpour with most opting to play cautious to avoid falling into the rough areas of the tree-lined layout with just 15 players turning in under-par scores despite playing preferred lies.
Paez hit an odd eagle on No. 2 then closed out with three birdies in the last six holes to negate a bogey-bogey mishap from No. 12 for that 69.
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