Angelo Que and Toru Nakajima switched places at the top with a 69 and 72, respectively, in another windy day here as they built a huge lead from the rest of the pack halfway through the ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational in Morong, Bataan on Thursday.
In what has shaped up to be a two-man duel at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club, Que and Nakajima fumbled at the finish in another challenging day but the former still came through with a three-under card to grab the lead at 139 and the latter matching par 72 for a 140.
Que, who closed out with a bogey and double bogey at the front for a 70 in the first round, flashed the form the netted him a three-stroke win over Tony Lascuña here in 2015, birdying five of the first 11 holes to surge ahead. But he hit a wayward shot on the par-4 17th and made a double-bogey for a 33-36 card for a five-under 139 total.
Nakajima also appeared headed for another bogey-free round with two birdies after 10 holes. But he wavered with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18 and settled for a 72.
Albin Engino and American Nicolas Paez carded identical 71s for joint third at 147, seven shots off Nakajima, virtually setting the stage for a two-way battle for the top P650,000 purse with still two rounds left in the kickoff leg of this year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Tony Lascuña, eager to rebound from a wind-blown 84 Wednesday, birdied the first three holes at the front and went four-under with another birdie on No. 17 but bogeyed the last to match Que’s 69.
He did make the cut pegged at a high 12-over 156 but the reigning Order of Merit champion stood too far behind at 153 for joint 19tht with Rico Depilo (77), Anthony Fernando (75), Zanieboy Gialon (74) and Hirotaro Naito of Japan (72).
Hardly a charge was heard from the morning group although unheralded Omar Dungca sizzled with a five-under 67 that made up for his opening 81, moving him to joint fifth at 148 with John Jackson of the US, who shot a 71.
Unfancied Erwin Arcillas also rebounded with a 72 for a 149 while Frankie Miñoza carded a 73 to tie Jay Bayron (75) and Japanese Syotaro Onuki (72) at 150 and Elmer Salvador (74), Orlan Sumcad (75), Joenard Rates (73), Jun Bernis (71) and Rufino Bayron (70) all tied at 151 but too far behind in this kickoff leg of this year’s circuit backed by KZG, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, Event Captain, Ping and Pioneer Insurance.
Cassius Casas, who barely made the cut with a 77 and a 156 in a tie with Randy Garalde (77), Pedo Repato (75), Shota Fukuhara of Japan (76), Korean Chun Seung Hee (76) and Clyde Mondilla (76).
Missing the cut were Robert Pactolerin (77-157), Mars Pucay (80-158), Dutch Guido Van der Valk (77-159), Jobim Carlos (78-162) and Charles Hong (79-163).