ELMER Salvador fired a 67 while Frankie Miñoza came up with a 68 to share the lead after Thursday’s second round of the ICTSI Riviera Classic at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite.
Salvador gunned down six birdies against two bogeys, while Miñoza missed a three-foot par putt on No. 5.
The two veterans are at three-under 139 heading to the last 36 holes of the P1.5 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Overnight joint leaders Benjie Magada and Tony Lascuña slipped at the tough layout, with the former holing out with a double-bogey on the ninth for a 73 and the latter hitting an errant approach shot twice on No. 11 and wound up with a quadruple bogey 8 for a 74.
With a 142, Magada slid to joint fifth with Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who fired a 69, Keanu Jahns, who shot a 70, Rufino Bayron, who carded a 71, and Zanieboy Gialon, who matched par 71.
Lascuña, who also three-putted No. 14, dropped to a share of 10th with Korean Seok Jun Min, who turned in a 72.
Clyde Mondilla looked set to join the leaders but hit a bogey on No. 9 for a second straight 70 and solo third at 140.
Mars Pucay also came up with a 70 for a 141.
“I thought of making my move now and I’m happy my overall game clicked,” said Salvador, who birdied Nos. 12, 16 and 17. He bogeyed No. 14 for the second straight day. He rolled in two straight birdies from No. 2, dropped a shot on the par-5 No. 5 then rammed in another birdie on the sixth.
Minoza, enjoying top form in the last four legs of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, hit three straight birdies from No. 15.
But he missed a couple of birdie chances at the front and muffed that par-putt bid from close range on No. 5 to settle for a share of the lead.
“It’s really tough to predict a game in golf. Just when you thought it’s going to be fine, suddenly your game makes a turnaround. I had a good start at the back but after nine holes, it was different,” said Miñoza, also out to snap a long title drought.
“For me, I’ll just continue to fight.”
Lascuña vowed to bounce back after a poor second round.
“I had a perfect 3-wood tee-shot on No. 11 but hit my approach shot behind and into the hazard. Another poor pitch sent the ball into the hazard,” rued Lascuna. “But I’ll fight back.”
Like in the first round, Magada had a shaky start with three straight bogeys at the back. Unlike in the opening day, however, where he recovered with five birdies against one more bogey for a 69, he failed to sustain his four-birdie effort against another bogey as he holed out with a double-bogey on No. 9 for that 73.