DASMARINAS, Cavite - Japanese Mitsuhiko Hazishume went on a birdie-binge early and hit an eagle but lost his rhythm coming out of a two hour-long rain delay and bogeyed No. 7, settling for a four-under 68 and a share of the lead with Carl Santos-Ocampo in the rain-halted first round of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at the Orchard's Palmer Course here yesterday.
Hashizume, 28, took advantage of an early tee-off and fired three birdies at the back then gunned down an eagle on No. 2 before adding another birdie on the fifth to negate a missed-green bogey on No. 1.
But heavy mid-morning rains spawned by Typhoon Helen rendered the fairways soggy and submerged some of the greens, forcing tournament director Jittisak Tramprasert of the Asian Development Tour to suspend play in the $60,000 tournament serving as the eighth leg of the fledgling circuit.
At resumption, however, Hashizume bogeyed the par-3 No. 7 but closed out with back-to-back pars to find himself on top of the heap with most of the big guns, including Elmer Salvador and Tony Lascuna, failing to complete their respective rounds.
Salvador, who beat Lascuna by six in last week's Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu - the first of two Phl ADT legs, mixed two birdies against two bogeys, for an even par card after nine holes before play was eventually suspended due to darkness.
Lascuna, the current Order of Merit leader on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, rebounded from a bogey opening with birdies on Nos. 4 and 6 as he made the turn at one-under.
Other notables who will complete their first round assignments early today (Thursday) are Aussie Scott Barr and Scot George Thacker (2-under after 9 holes), Ausssie Ryan Bulloch (1-under after 9), Marvin Dumandan (even par, 9 holes).
Angelo Que and Miguel Tabuena, two of the fancied bets for the crown, made even par 72s.
Santos-Ocampo, who blew his first crack at a pro crown in the ICTSI John Hay Championship last April, put himself in early contention with a 34-34 card spiked by six birdies, including on three of the four par 5s, but marred by two bogeys, including one at the par-5 18th.