TORU Nakajima made a final-hole bogey for a two-over 74 but remained on top as his pursuers also failed to match par in tough conditions in the third round of the P2.5 million ICTSI Wack Wack Championship on Friday at Wack Wack’s East Course.
The Japanese player, three strokes ahead at the start of the day, still wound up leading by two at two-under 214 despite finishing without a birdie.
"Tough, really tough day," said Nakajima, who dumped his approach shot on the par-4 No. 18 into the greenside bunker and failed to get up-and-down. It was his second bogey on a windy day that bogeys and pars became the norm and birdies an exception.
Cassius Casas also ended his round with a bogey for a 72, in solo second at 216.
Jay Bayron birdied the 18th for a 73 and a 217 total, which was matched by Korea’s Micah Shin, who holed out with a birdie to card a 74.
“I need to shoot two- or three-under to get a chance at the crown,” said Casas, trying to close out the season with back-to-back victories after snapping a three-year title slump with a win at Canlubang recently.
He actually looked headed for a big finish when he birdied Nos. 13 and 16 but made a bogey on the closing hole where he scored two over in the second round.
“There’s still a chance. I hope to catch Nakajima,” said Bayron, winner at John Hay.
Rancho Palos Verdes winner Michael Bibat had a 74 for a three-day total of 218 in the final leg of the 15-stage circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Mars Pucay shot a 72 to join four others in sixth place at 219. Johnnel Ababa and Elmer Saban also matched par 72, while Riviera Classic winner Mhark Fernando and Benjie Magada carded identical 74s.
Elmer Salvador fell behind by six at 220 after a 77, while Gerald Rosales had a 73 for a 221 aggregate in the tournament backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp, BMW and Gergia Energy Foods.