JAPAN’S Toru Nakajima fired a bogey-free 68 for a provisional two-stroke lead over Angelo Que as play in the ICTSI Anvaya Cove Golf tournament was stopped on Wednesday due to darkness at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club in Morong, Bataan.
The 32-year-old golfer from Tokyo hit four birdies, including a 26-footer on the par-5 10th where he started en route to the early lead in the P3.5 million event kicking off this year’s Philippine Golf Tour.
“The wind was very strong, the strongest I ever experienced here and I’m lucky to have made a sub-par round,” said Nakajima.
The organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. halted play with 14 flights to complete play.
“I played a flawless game. My putting, irons and short game were in place. Hopefully, I keep my game the last three rounds,” said Nakajima, seeking a second PGT win after topping the Wack Wack Championship in 2013.
Que, who also started on No. 10, was five-under through 12 holes but stumbled with a bogey-double-bogey windup and slid to second with a 70.
“Sobrang lakas nang hangin parang bagyo. Suerte lang naka-under par ako (The wind was so strong as if there was a storm. I was lucky to have shot under-par),” said Que, winner of three Asian Tour events.
Michael Bibat, also chasing a second title since 2013, went three-under with a birdie and a pitch-in eagle from No. 2 but made two bogeys and a double bogey from No. 7 and was one-over with seven holes to play.
Others at one-over when play was stopped were Jet Mathay and Jay Bayron, while Erwin Arcillas, Poland’s Thomas Bosco, Rico Depilo, Randy Garalde and Godofredo Sinfuego were at two-over after 15 holes.
Nicolas Paez of the US and Orlan Sumcad shot 76s, matching Cassius Casas, Albin Engino, Korea’s Park Jun Sung and Pedo Repato at four-over with seven holes left.
Frankie Minoza, Elmer Salvador, Mhark Fernando, James Dadizon, Nilo Salahog and Rene Menor carded 77s.
Anthony Fernando, Christopher de los Santos, Mars Pucay, Jonard Rates, Paul Echavez and Japanese Syotaro Onuki had 78s.
Tony Lascuña, top money earner on the PGT last season, had a 12-over 84 including a triple bogey and a double bogey.
Clyde Mondilla, second on the Order of Merit last season, is also in danger of missing the cut after firing an 80 in the tournament sponsored by ICTSI and backed by KZG, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, TaylorMade, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, Event Captain, Ping and Pioneer Insurance.