De Los Santos traverses through high and lows in space of 18 holes

Justin De Los Santos - TheGolfingHub
Despite the setback, Justin De Los Santos was cool the way things panned out on Day 1 of the Panasonic Open. Photo: JGTO

It was a dream start that ended with an unpleasant finish for Philippines’ Justin De Los Santos as he settled for a modest three-under-par 69 in the first round of the Panasonic Open in Hyogo on Thursday.

The 27-year-old appeared to be in full control at the Onotoyo Golf Club when he birdied six of the opening eight holes.

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De Los Santos would drop his first bogey at par-four ninth for a nevertheless impressive five-under 31. After the turn, he completed his next six holes all square.

His good efforts finally came undone when he conceded two more strokes following back-to-back bogeys on holes number seven and eight.

De Los Santos joined the Australian quartet of Adam Bland, Brad Kennedy, Anthony Quayle and Andrew Evans in a tie for 19th – four adrift leaders Yuto Katsuragawa and Shugo Imahira.

De Los Santos was cool with how things panned out for him.

“It’s pretty crazy, I played well on the front nine. I was putting really well and then in the back nine, nothing went in and made a couple of bogeys coming in,” he said.

“I think I just kind of losing the momentum a little bit, it’s what it is.

“An opening 69, it’s still a decent round.

“I just want to play the best I can and put myself in a position where I have a chance to win.”

Katsuragawa and Imahira both fired a flawless 65 to set the early pace and lead by one shot from Keisuke Otawa.

Despite enjoying a good start, Katsuragawa believes he needs to work n his iron shot.

“I wasn’t too satisfied with some of my iron shots, I didn’t hit them as well as I expected,” said Katsuragawa.

“I am not tired. It’s still the first day and I just want to enjoy the play.”

Katsuragawa has set his sights on confirming his spot in the ZOZO Championship with a good finish this week.

Currently second in the JGTO Money Rankings, Katsuragawa is on course to make the cut for the PGA Tour’s ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, Chiba from Oct 21-24.

The JGTO’s top eight money leaders after the completion of For The Players By The Players will get to play in the US$11 million showpiece.