American hits ace, eagle at S’woods

CARMONA, Cavite – John Michael O’Toole hit two improbable shots, including an ace on No. 12, to produce a nine-under 63 and seize a two-stroke clubhouse lead over an unlikely contender in Robert Pactolerin at the start of the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Golf Championship here yesterday.

O’Toole also blasted in a pitch-in eagle on the par-4 No. 5 and rattled off six birdies in a day of torrid scoring at the Legends layout where he owns the course record and which virtually lay defense-less in the absence of the wind that saw almost half of the starting 119-field break par.

He highlighted his 31-32 card with a solid 7-iron tee-shot on the 218-yard No. 12 that disappeared into the cup.

Jay Bayron sizzled in afternoon play with a tournament-best 30 at the front then sandwiched a bogey on No. 12 with back-to-back birdies to match O’Toole’s nine-under card before play was stopped for the second time in the day due to threats of lightning.

Pactolerin flashed vintage form and shot a seven-under 65 for solo third, Aussie Darren Beck gunned down seven birdies against a bogey for a 66 while Sydney Chung of the US, Jet Mathay and Dutch Guido Van der Valk all carded 67s with Zanieboy Gialon and Thai Teemu Putkonen turning in five-under cards with three holes to play and Zanieboy Gialon and Rufino Bayron also going five-under after 12 holes.

Jobim Carlos, fresh from his breakthrough win at Riviera last week, spiked his 68 with an eagle on No. 14 as he shared provision 12th place with Englishman Grant Jackson, American Cory Oride and Thai Puk Pradittan.

Angelo Que birdied three of the first six holes in impressive fashion but slowed down the rest of the way, mixing three more birdies with the same number of bogeys to lead the 69 scorers, who include Ira Alido, Michael Bibat, American Jacob Fleck and Aussie Tim Stewart. Salvador Paya Vila of Spain, Korean Lee Song and Indonesian Elki Kow also had three under card after 12 holes.