Villacencio ties Salvador, Casas for halfway lead | Inquirer Sports

Villacencio ties Salvador, Casas for halfway lead

/ 04:33 AM July 18, 2014

Journeyman Arnold Villacencio nailed four birdies in a 3-under-par 67 yesterday to tie former Philippine Open champions Cassius Casas and Elmer Salvador for the lead halfway through the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge at Sta. Barbara in Iloilo.

Casas, still looking for a followup to his Country Club Invitational victory last February, holed a 12-foot putt for birdie on the ninth—his final hole —for a 68, while Salvador, after opening with a 67 on Wednesday, slowed down with a level 70.

The beer-bellied Villacencio had nines of 35-32 to catch Casas and Salvador on top at 137, with Michael Bibat and Orlan Sumcad trailing another shot back.

“I played well today (yesterday) although I never expected to tie for the lead,” said Villacencio in Filipino. “But I am lucky to be where I am now.”

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Villacencio’s best finish was third twice, at Mt. Malarayat in 2009 and Eastridge two years later.

Salvador had a so-so round of one birdie against a bogey but remained one of the most dangerous men in the field together with Antonio Lascuña, who shot a 68 to move up just two strokes behind.

“I really wanted to get into the lead (going into the final two rounds) to take some pressure off me,” said Casas in Filipino. “It’s now up to them to figure out how to catch me.”

Angelo Que got back to even at 140 after a 68 marred by two bogeys on his last four holes. He was tied with Jay Bayron, who shot a 71.

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“I’m not too far behind and I can still make it with a good third-round score,” said Que.

Jun Bernis, who shared second Wednesday with obscure Richard Abaring, fired a 71 to be in the company of Lascuña and Ferdie Aunzo, who shot a 70.

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Abaring, even after his first seven holes, faded with three bogeys for a 73 and fell four off the pace together with eight others, including local bet Paul Visinica, who shot a 72.

The event is backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, FootJoy, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Callaway, Mizuno, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Sharp and KZG. Musong R. Castillo

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TAGS: ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge

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