ARNOLD Villacencio came up with the day’s best 67 to move to the top, Cassius Casas gained a share of the lead with a 68 and overnight leader Elmer Salvador managed to stay with them with a 70 in the second round of the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge on Thursday in Sta. Barbara.
Villacencio, hoping to finally nail the elusive win after previously blowing a couple of title chances, made four birdies inside eight feet to negate his lone bogey on No. 6 at the Iloilo Golf and Country Club for a three-under 137.
“I played well although I never expected to tie Cassius and Elmer for the lead. But I am lucky to be where I am now,” said Villacencio, who placed third at Mt. Malarayat in 2009 and at Eastridge in 2011.
Casas hit three birdies in the last nine holes at the front, including a chip-in from 20 yards on No. 3 and a tap-in on the next as he put himself in contention for the P200,000 top prize.
Salvador struggled on the greens and flubbed birdie putts on Nos. 13 and 18 but held on.
“Those putts on Nos. 13 and 18 were fairly easy but I just couldn’t drop my putts,” said Salvador, seeking to score a follow-up to his victory at Riviera.
Michael Bibat stayed in the hunt for a second pro win with a 68, which was matched by the long-hitting Orlan Sumcad for joint fourth at 138.
Money leader Tony Lascuna was at 139 after a 68, and was in the company of Miguel Ochoa (68), Ferdie Aunzo (70) and Jun Bernis (71).
Angelo Que, also eyeing a first win this year, added a 68 to his opening 72 and tied Splendido winner Jay Bayron, who carded a 71 in the second round of the ninth leg of the 16-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, FootJoy, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Callaway, Mizuno, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Sharp and KZG.
“I’m not too far behind and I believe I can still make it with a good third round score,” said Que.