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Rosal storms ahead in seniors golfest

LIPA CITY – Abe Rosal fired a one-under 71 and took a huge 9-stroke lead over erstwhile leader Dave Hernandez in the second round of the Philippine Seniors and Mid-Amateur Open Championships here yesterday.

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Rosal, a former mainstay of the Canlubang team in the Interclub, birdied two of the first four holes and went on to gun down two more against a bogey and a double-bogey for a 36-35 that proved too much for a field that struggled at Mt. Malarayat’s composite course.

Counting his first round score of 74, Rosal assembled a 145 aggregate and moved closer to nailing his first seniors Open crown as Hernandez shot 10 strokes worse than his opening 72, his 82 dropping him to second at 154.

Abe Avena, who ruled last year’s staging of the event held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Cignal, Metro Pacific Investments, Srixon and Cobra, pooled a 155 after an 80 while former national champion Rolly Viray carded a 76 and moved to joint fourth with Jose Mari Hechanova, who turned in a 78, at 158.

Mike Besa made an 81 for sixth at 165 while Japanese Kato Sengyo had an 87 for a 168 followed by Ernesto Lim (85-174) and Albert Que (94-185) as Tommy Manotoc withdrew after a 75.

Meanwhile, defending champion Gerald Katigbak fired a 73 and took a three-shot lead over Earel Gardiola with Augusto de Jesus carding a 77 at the start of the Mid Amateur Open division of the annual event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and supported by hole-in-one sponsor Bushnell Prox2 Rangefinder.