Salvador takes 4-stroke ICTSI golf lead
TRECE MARTIREZ, Cavite—Elmer Salvador was flawless for the second straight day, returning a five-under-par 67 to take a four-stroke lead into Saturday’s final round of the P1 million ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic here.
Counting his opening 68 for a 135 total, the stocky Salvador moved on the threshold of a first win for the season, which could end a drought that started late in 2010, a year after he won the all-Filipino Philippine Open.
“Things have been going my way because I have been hitting the ball quite well,” Salvador said in Filipino. “I actually can’t remember the last time I won. I just hope to keep playing this way.”
Cassius Casas fired a 69 and was alone in second at 139 with Artemio Murakami completing a 1-2-3 running of former PH Open champions after turning the back nine of the well-manicured Sherwood layout upside down with a 31 for a day-best 66 for 141.
Mars Pucay and Antonio Lascuña, who shared the first round lead with Salvador, never got their respective rounds going and stumbled with a 74 and 75 for 142 and 143, respectively and be the last players to be under par after 36 holes.
Michael Bibat, Danny Zarate and Gene Bondoc were all at 144 after a 69, 74 and 76, respectively, with Bondoc failing miserably in his bid to duplicate a superlative opening round of 68 to also drop out of the lead and lose valuable ground in his chase for a breakthrough win.
“It’s still possible,” Casas, who has been lurking in the top five of the recent events, said in Filipino when asked if overhauling a four-stroke deficit could still be accomplished.
“I have confidence in my game and I am also hitting the ball pretty well,” added Casas, whose last win came in Del Monte last year when the final flight that included Salvador was disqualified because of a final hole infraction.
The 12th leg of the 16-stage circuit is backed by MJ Carr Golf Management, Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Unilab, BDO, Titleist, Sharp, Custom Clubmakers, PinoyGolfer.com, Inquirer Golf, Omnisource International, A Round of Golf, Studio 23, Balls, and Dynamic Sports.