FIL-German Keanu Jahns shot a five-under 67, moving a stroke ahead over erstwhile co-leader Charles Hong after Thursday’s second round of the ICTSI Luisita Championship at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Jahns, who started the day tied for the lead with Hong, Mondilla and Albin Engino after an opening-round 66, hit eight birdies and enter the weekend play at 11 under.
The three-year pro could’ve actually pulled away from the elite pack if not for his double-mishap on the par-4 15th. He gunned down those birdies in bunches – four straight on each nine.
“I just stuck to what I did in the first round and my gameplan,” said Jahns, who also hit eight birdies on Wednesday.
“Also, I’ve been hitting a lot of greens and making a lot of putts.”
Hong, a two-time winner on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, came up with a 68 on nines of 32-36.
“The pins were placed in tough positions and that made it difficult to go for birdies,” said Hong, who flashed superb iron play that produced birdies inside six feet and more than made up for his wet bogey on No. 5 and a missed green miscue on the 17th.
Clyde Mondilla hit three straight birdies from No. 3 to turn in a 69 for a 135.
Frankie Miñoza turned in a second straight four-under 68 to stay just three strokes off Jahns at 136.
Several players also kept the leaders within sight to ensure a wide-open battle for the top prize of P360,000 in the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with Jhonnel Ababa firing a 67 for a 137 to match Rolando Marabe, who carded a 70.
Tony Lascuña also shot a 67 for a 138.
Engino shot a 73 and tumbled to joint eight with Jay Bayron (70), Elmer Salvador(69), and Japan’s Toru Nakajima (67) and Yuta Sudo (68).
Forty two players made the cut at 147 with Cassius Casas barely making it with a 72 after a 75 together with Rufino Bayron, who fought back with a 71 after a 76.
Miguel Tabuena threatened in the early going with three birdies in the first seven holes at the back. But the ICTSI Splendido leg winner fumbled with a bogey on the 18th and had a one-bogey, one-birdie stint at the front for a second 70 and a 140, seven shots off Jahns.