Indonesia’s Danny Masrin battled the gusty conditions before signing for an opening four-under-par 68 to lead by two shots at the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Masrin, playing in only his second season on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), fired five birdies against a lone bogey to hold his ground at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club, where the wind speed of the day averaged up to 30 kilometres per hour.
Australian Gavin Fairfax shared second place with local duo Michael Bibat and Jun Bernis while Jay Bayron, Janne Kaske of Finland and Thailand’s Kasidit Lepkurte were among those bunched in fifth place following matching 71s at the US$60,000 event.
Masrin, chasing for a breakthrough ADT victory, conceded the gusty winds made play tough but remained upbeat about his chances after returning with a commendable round.
“I stayed patient. I was just focusing on hitting the greens. I sank a couple of five to six-footers today which was great. It was really windy. I know I can’t force anything out there and I have to commit to every shot I make,” said Masrin, who has enjoyed two top-10s so far this season.
Starting from the 10, Masrin nailed three birdies to turn in 33 and added another birdie on the second hole before dropping a shot on fifth which he erased with a fifth birdie of the day on seven to secure his place atop the leaderboard.
“I am pretty happy with my round today. I had a good finish on the ninth. I hit my second shot with a five-iron into the front right bunker but I chipped it out and sank a 10-footer from there to save par. That was probably my highlight for the day,” added the young Indonesian.
The ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic is the 11th leg of the 2016 ADT schedule and also the Tour’s second stop in the Philippines this season. The winner will take home a prize purse of US$10,500 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2017.
Like all other ADT events, the ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic will offer OWGR points, which will be key for players vying to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading first round scores:
68 – Danny MASRIN (INA)
70 – Jun BERNIS (PHI) , Gavin FAIRFAX (AUS) , Michael BIBAT (PHI)
71 – Randy GARALDE (PHI) , Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) , Janne KASKE (FIN) , Jay BAYRON (PHI) , Akihiko HASHIZUME (JPN) , Ric DEPILO (PHI) , Kasidit LEPKURTE (THA)
72 – Paul HARRIS (USA) , Marvin DUMANDAN (PHI) , Jarin TODD (USA) , James Ryan LAM (PHI) , Samuel CHIEN (USA) , Yuta SUDO (JPN)
73 – Yuki SHINO (JPN) , Toru NAKAJIMA (JPN) , John CATLIN (USA) , Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) , Khalin JOSHI (IND) , Guido VAN DER VALK (NED) , Dino A. GIACOMAZZI (USA) , Genki OKADA (JPN) , Orlan SUMCAD (PHI) , Anthony FERNANDO (PHI) , Benjie MAGADA (PHI)
74 – Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) , Nick SHERWOOD (USA) , John Michael O’TOOLE (USA) , Josh SALAH (USA) , Christopher CANNON (ENG) , Baxter REEVES (USA) , Nabil ABDUL (AUS) , Nilo SALAHOG (PHI) , Albin ENGINO (PHI) , Lindsay RENOLDS (CAN) , Jhonnel ABABA (PHI) , Gavin KWON (KOR) , Tawan PHONGPHUN (THA) , Sean RIORDAN (NZL) , Junmin SEOK (KOR)