SILANG, Cavite – Rey Pagunsan failed to sustain a scorching start and hobbled with a one-over 72 but still held on to the provisional lead with half of the field still to complete play in the second round of the ICTSI Riviera Golf Challenge here at presstime.
Picking up from his late charge that tied him with Jhonnel Ababa at 70 Wednesday, Pagunsan took advantage of near-ideal playing conditions in early start and fired two birdies after eight holes at the Langer course. But the veteran campaigner seeking to end a long title spell lost his rhythm and touch in the last 10 holes, dropping strokes on Nos. 9, 12 and 16 while missing a couple of birdie chances.
But he leaned on his putting at the finish, saving four pars in the last five for a 34-38 as he stayed on top at 142 with Ababa and the other fancied bets, including pre-tournament favorite Juvic Pagunsan, still battling it out in sweltering heat in pursuit of the lead in the 72-hole championship serving as prelude to next week’s Solaire Philippine Open.
“Got it going early but missed a lot of greens at the back. It could’ve been worse if not for my putting,” said Pagunsan, who one-putted Nos. 10, 11, 14, 15, 17 and 18 inside seven feet.