Song finishes strong, wrests PGTA lead by 1
TARLAC – Young Lee Song sizzled early at the back then closed out with two birdies in the last three holes to shoot a six-under 66 and wrest a one-stroke lead over American John Jackson and local bet Rolando Marabe Jr. at the start of the $100,000 ICTSI Luisita Championship at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here.
The long-hitting Song, 19, birdied all par5s then added five more birdies against three bogeys in an impressive round for a player who turned in a mediocre joint 29th finish in last week’s PGTA Q-School topped by Thai Sattaya Supupramai.
“I played well today (yesterday) and my putting worked well,” said the Cavite-based Korean, who hit 10 fairways and 14 greens on his way to a 35-31 card, spiked by five birdies in the first seven holes at the back where he teed off.
But Jackson and Marabe stood just a stroke behind with 67s while Aussie Nicholas Coxon shot a 68 and Erwin Arcillas, Thai Varanju Rat tan a phil boo nkij and South African Mathiam Keyser turned in identical 69s, hinting at a spirited battle for the top $17,500 purse in the 72-hole championship kicking off the second season of the region’s newest circuit put up by ICTSI.
Jackson, a 30-year-old ace from San Diego, and the unheralded Marabe put in a pair of bogey-free five-under cards in scorching heat while Coxon leaned on a five-birdie binge in a seven-hole stretch from No. 6 against a bogey on the fifth to join the crowded leaderboard.