Fidel Concepcion couldn’t save a flawless round when he closed out with a missed green bogey on No. 18 on Tuesday, but a five-under-par 66 was still enough to give him a one-shot lead over Angelo Que after the opening round of the P2.5 million ICTSI Riviera Championship at the Langer layout in Silang, Cavite.
The 24-year-old Concepcion, who grew up in Sydney and played collegiate golf for Southern Utah University in the United States, drained his six birdies in an 11-hole span from No. 3 as he played his most impressive round in a young pro career here to show practice mate Que the way under cloudy skies on one of the toughest layouts in the land.
“I executed a lot of shots well and thought I didn’t make a lot of mistakes, apart from a few misreads,” said Concepcion, who joined Que in several practice rounds at Manila Southwoods during the Philippine Golf Tour’s three-week break.
Que, the Japan Tour regular and former Philippine Open champion, had four birdies before an eagle 3 on the par-5 16th, only to drop his second shot on the short par-3 17th for a 67.
Still, it was a round that was as impressive as his last, when he fired a 67 to finish in the top five of the first leg of the PGT restart three weeks ago at the adjacent Couples course.“I played pretty good—drove the ball and putted very well. I got lucky on few holes and I’m happy with the way I played,” said Que.
Art Arbole, the veteran Ferdie Aunzo and Sean Talmadge carded 69s to be two shots behind, with Ira Alido, Albin Engino and Justin Quiban the only other players to crack par after shooting 70s to be another stroke back.
Antonio Lascuña got his sweep bid in the bubble getting off on a sour note after firing a birdie-less 76, even as Olympian Miguel Tabuena struggled more, firing a 78 marred by two double bogeys against a lone birdie.
Meanwhile, Princess Superal shot a 69 and took a one-shot lead over Pauline del Rosario in the 54-hole, P400,000 ladies event as she put herself in a strong position of nailing back-to-back titles after a runaway win at Couples.
Del Rosario was working on a three-under card going into the 18th hole, only to sign for a double bogey 6 and settle for a 70.
“I actually missed a lot of greens but made some up-and-down pars, especially on a couple of long par-4s,” said Superal.
Abby Arevalo, who was second to Superal at Couples, couldn’t get anything going and shot a 76.
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