2012 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion Jay Bayron of the Philippines opened with a superb five-under-par 67 to lead by two shots at the US$100,000 Aboitiz Invitational on Wednesday.
Bayron, who won a total of three ADT titles including the inaugural Aboitiz Invitational in 2011, fired seven birdies against two bogeys to put himself on top of the leaderboard at the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s East course which has proven to be a true test of golf with only nine players breaking par in the opening round.
“My short game was very good. I like this course a lot. It suits my game. I have got some good finishes here before so I feel really comfortable out there. My best birdie was on the 16 where I putted in from about nine yards!” said the 37-year-old Filipino, who has notched five top-10s on the ADT so far this season.
Filipino Marvin Dumandan and Nicholas Paez of the United States shared second place on matching 69s while Singapore’s Johnson Poh, American Blake Snyder, local duo Jobim Carlos and Arnold Villacencio are a further shot back in fourth place.
The 36-year-old Dumandan, who has won six times on the domestic circuit but not on the ADT, said: “I am lucky today. I missed only two fairways. My driving was good. I just try to avoid missing the greens out there. I will stick to my game plan and be patient.”
Paez, playing in his first year in Asia, was also ecstatic with a 69. “I bogeyed the first but I managed to hit fairways and greens after that. When I didn’t have a chance on the greens, I relied on my short game. My game plan worked,” said the 27-year-old American, who traded five birdies against two bogeys.
“Playing on the ADT is good for my game because it helps me get accustomed to the climate here in Asia. It is also a good practice for me. I will try not to think too much about leading. Hopefully my score will stand. I will try and play with no expectations,” added Paez.
The ADT will 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 Aboitiz Invitational will offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points to the top six players and ties based on a sliding scale.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading first round scores:
67 – Jay BAYRON (PHI)
69 – Marvin DUMANDAN (PHI) , Nicolas PAEZ (USA)
70 – Jobim CARLOS (PHI) , Johnson POH (SIN) , Arnold VILLACENCIO (PHI) , Blake SNYDER (USA)
71 – Zanie Boy GIALON (PHI) , Jonathan WOO (SIN)
72 – Peter STOJANOVSKI (AUS) , Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) , Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) , Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) , Pijit PETCHKASEM (THA) , Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) , Mitchell SLORACH (SIN) , Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) , George GANDRANATA (INA) , Kevin TECHAKANOKBOON (THA) , Poom SAKSANSIN (THA)
73 – Gen NAGAI (A) (JPN) , Clyde MONDILLA (PHI) , Justin QUIBAN (PHI) , Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) , Rene MENOR (PHI) , David GLEESON (AUS) , Ian ANDREW (INA)