BACOLOD CITY – Juvic Pagunsan showed steely resolve and turned in a 68 to stay on top in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Classic yesterday here.
Pagunsan said the rigors of playing two straight weeks in hot conditions while battling some personal woes have started to take their toll but the region’s former No. 1 still put in a decent round of three birdies against a bogey for a 32-36 card to barely hold on to a one-stroke edge at 10-under 200.
Pagunsan, who birdied the first two holes and No. 9 in exactly the same fashion he anchored his second round charge that saw him post his second straight 66.
Unlike in his Thursday’s round, the defending champion bogeyed No. 12 and settled for a 68 at the par-70 Negros Occidental Golf and Country Club.
Far from being exhausted in chase of a maiden victory on the Philippine Golf Tour is Nilo Salahog, who hit five birdies in the first 13 holes then bucked a bogey on No. 15 due to wrong club selection with a birdie on the next to shoot the day’s best 65 and assume the challenger’s role at 201.
The rest will need to score in low 60s to get a shot at the top P550,000 purse in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with James ryan Lam fumbling with four bogeys against three birdies for a 71 and dropping to third at 204, four shots off Pagunsan.
Vilairatana, just three strokes adrift of Pagunsan after 36 holes, blew an even par 35 start with three bogeys in the last eight holes, limping with a 73 and falling to joint 10th at 208 with Reymon Jaraula (67), Richard Sinfuego (70), Gerald Rosales (70) and Club Filipino de Cebu Invitational winner Guido Van der Valk (70).
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