Ababa pads lead to 2 over Casas | Inquirer Sports

Ababa pads lead to 2 over Casas

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 10:56 PM October 27, 2011

CALATAGAN, Batangas—Jonel Ababa survived inconsistent putting Thursday to shoot a 3-under-par 69 and take a two-stroke lead over Cassius Casas heading into today’s final round of the ICTSI Calatagan Challenge.

Ababa gunned down five birdies against two bogeys for a 36-hole 135 aggregate but rued at least five missed birdie putts from driver-length range as tough pin placements on the rolling layout took their toll on the field.

Casas, the former Philippine Open champion looking to win for the first time since August last year, fired a 67, missing a golden chance to come closer after two bad shots on the par-5 first hole.

Marvin Dumandan also had five birdies but settled for a second round 71 that left him three shots back, while Jun Bernis and Joenard Rates were a further stroke off the pace after a 72 and a 70, respectively.

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“I just hope to play well and pray that luck stays with me in the final round,” Ababa, who bogeyed the par-3 eighth hole for the second straight day because of a bad tee shot, told the Inquirer in Filipino moments before hard rains came.

“I feel so much at home here,” added Ababa, a product of the National Caddies’ Open program under Tommy Manotoc which made this course its base. “There’s no pressure. I just need to play my game.”
Ababa, who muffed birdie putts on Nos. 1, 2 and 4 from less than four feet, has won twice on the Tour but has never led a tournament before.

While the pint-sized Ababa hopes to just sustain his form, Casas is eyeing an explosive round –like Ababa’s opening 66 – to have a chance at foiling the leader’s bid for a third title this season.

“He’s a hometown boy, so I don’t expect him to make too many mistakes,” Casas, who was left with just 220 yards for his second shot on the par-5 first before hitting a 3-iron thin to wind up in the greenside bunker that led to his only bogey, said in Filipino.

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Ferdie Aunzo, Mark Fernando and Antonio Lascuna remained in the mix 141 after carding 69, 71 and 71, respectively, with Elmer Saban and Gerald Rosales both at 142 after a 70 and 73.

Fernando, another NCO product fancied in this P1 million event, threw away a frontside 32 by going double bogey-bogey from No. 12.

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The leading scores:
135 – J. Ababa 66-69; 137 – C. Casas 70-67; 138 – M. Dumandan 67-71; 139 – J. Rates 69-70, J. Bernis 67-72; 141 – F. Aunzo 72-69, M. Fernando 70-71, A. Lascuna 70-71; 142 – E. Saban 72-70, G. Rosales 69-73; 143 – C. Hong 72-71, A. Engino 72-71, A. Murakami 72-71; 144 – A. Fernando 74-70, E. Quiachon 74-70, C. Delos Santos 73-71; 145 – Z. Gialon (Am) 75-70, R. Sasutil 73-72, J. Delariarte 69-76; 146 – A. Nallos (Am) 74-72, C. Santos-Ocampo 73-73, R. Bayron 73-73.

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TAGS: Cassius Casas, Golf, Jonel Ababa, Sports

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