CEBU CITY—Elmer Salvador needs to continue brushing up on his English—what with the way he is playing in the Asean Development Tour Aboitiz Invitational.
The soft-spoken native of Davao returned an eagle-spiked 4-under-par 68 yesterday to zoom to a two-shot lead in the $65,000 event with a Briton from Liverpool stepping up as his newest pursuer after two rounds at soggy Cebu Country Club here.
“Here we go again. Good thing that I practiced my English,” Salvador said with a smile when someone from the ADT gave him the phone for an interview for its website, moments after signing a 34-34 card highlighted by his eagle on the 11th and four birdies against two missed green bogeys.
Together with his opening 67, the defending champion Salvador now has a 135 aggregate, two ahead of Ian Keenan, a 37-year-old who has had very little success as a pro but said he likes his chances going into the weekend.
“I was very solid today,” Keenan said after shooting six birdies against a lone, three-putt bogey. “If I play my best (in the weekend), somebody will have to beat me.”
Keenan calls Hoylake in Liverpool—the site where Phil Mickelson will defend his British Open title next year—his home course and said that he likes the CCC because of its tight layout.
With preferred lies still in effect, the tree-lined layout was again at the mercy of the talented field as nine of those in the Top 10 cracked par with Korean Park Il-hwan shooting a 68 and Anthony Fernando a 70 for 138, three off Salvador.
The only man who returned an over-par score was the American Brian Locke, the first-round leader who double-bogeyed the 17th for a 73 that left him in a four-man group at 139, including the dangerous Angelo Que.
Que, the jolly former Philippine Open champion, shot a 69 with Carl Santos-Ocampo firing a 68 and Australian Danny Tan a 70.
Jun Bernis fired a 69 and the United States’ Peter Richardson assembled a 70 to be five behind with Antonio Lascuña gutting out a 69 that put him at 141.