Tough pin placements likewise took the best from the bidders in the $100,000 event serving as the third leg of the third season of Philippine Golf Tour Asia as the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout proved a lot tougher in blustery conditions with a number of pre-tournament favorites missing the 50-plus ties cut at 143. They included last year’s winner Jay Bayron (71-144), first leg winner at Luisita Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand (73-144), multi-titled Tony Lascuña (74-144) and reigning PGT Order of Merit winner Jobim Carlos (75-151).
Jhonnel Ababa came out a lot better than seven others in local tour’s most crowded final round duel in recent years, unleashing a strong start and a rock-solid finish to overwhelm the field instead and ran away with the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship crown by three on a closing 64 at the Nicklaus course here yesterday.
American Josh Salah dished out fine form coming off a long break, rattling off eight birdies in overcast skies for a solid 63 and a two-stroke lead over equally hot-starting Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand and local ace Albin Engino in the first round of the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship at the Nicklaus course here yesterday.
Tony Lascuña hopes to end a long winless campaign with a victory at the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship, armed with a new putter and a confidence bolstered by his triumphs in what used to be a Philippine Golf Tour event the last two years at the Nicklaus course here.
Jobim Carlos dropped eight birdies before heavy rains fell and completed a stirring bogey-free 64, wresting a two-stroke lead over Korean Lee Song in the ICTSI Pueblo De Oro Championship here and setting in motion his drive for a second championship in three weeks on the Philippine Golf Tour.