FRANKIE Miñoza came up with an even more scorching round of 8-under-par 64 set up by a back nine 29 yesterday to seize a four-shot lead over Angelo Que heading into the final 18 holes of the P1-million ICTSI Pueblo De Oro Championship in Cagayan de Oro.
The legendary 53-year-old, priming up for the British Senior Open late this month, posted a 36-hole 131 total after opening with a 67 just days after blitzing the field with a 9-under 63 in the final round of the Del Monte Championship in Bukidnon.
Miñoza, the reigning Japan Senior Open champion, has now played his last three rounds at a combined 22 under and his last five rounds at 26. He wasn’t this hot even when he was dominating the now defunct Asian Golf Circuit in the 1980s.
Que, a multileg winner on the Asian Tour, actually matched Miñoza’s 29 but a front-nine 37 left him with a 66 and 135 total.
Miñoza had two eagles for the day, the first coming on the 17th hole—his eighth—when he hit a four-iron approach that stopped within putter-length of the cup. He actually closed out his first nine—like Que—by going six under on his final five holes.
Que eagled the par-5 15th.
“Is that so?” Miñoza replied in Filipino when informed that he and Que were engaged in a torrid birdie-splurge in separate flights. “I had no idea what Angelo was doing. I just played my game.”
Miñoza actually missed taking an even bigger lead into today’s final 18 holes after he three-putted the eighth green—his 17th hole—and then put his drive into the trees on the ninth for a bogey-bogey finish.
No player has won back-to-back legs in the circuit this year.
Elmer Salvador still has a shot at spoiling another Miñoza celebration as he stood just five down after a 68, with Rufino Bayron another shot back at 137 after a 69.
Joenard Rates, who shared the first-round lead with Miñoza, returned a 71 and fell seven strokes behind at 139, in a tie with Benjie Magada (70), Jay Bayron (70) and Orlan Sumcad—who also fired a 64.
The event is being backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp.