Villanueva halfway to a happy Christmas | Inquirer Sports

Villanueva halfway to a happy Christmas

/ 05:10 AM November 02, 2018

LIPA City, Batangas— Dino Villanueva went on a birdie-spree early and stayed steady until his final hole, producing a six-under 66 and gaining solo control by three over a late-charging Peter Stojanovski and Elmer Salvador halfway through the Summit Point World 18 Challenge here Thursday.

The 34-year-old journeyman from Cagayan de Oro ran off four straight birdies from No. 10—he started his round at the back—to keep the momentum of his lead-sharing 67 fashioned out in harsh conditions in afternoon play Wednesday.

He traded two birdies with the same number of bogeys in the next eight holes then capped his 34-32 card with birdies in the last two par-5s in near-ideal conditions at Summit Point Golf Club.

“Nothing special but I hit my wedge shots pretty solid,” said Villanueva, who moved 36 holes from finally nailing the elusive win in an 11-year pro career with an 11-under 133 total.

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He stood three strokes clear off Salvador, who birdied four of the last six holes at the back to shoot a second 68 for a 136, which Macedonian Stojanovski matched in one of the late flights behind a bogey-free, tournament-best 65.

Janne Kaske of Finland matched Villanueva’s six-under card for fourth at 137.

“I need to toughen up in the last two days to clinch it. A victory will really make our Christmas happy,” added Villanueva, whose wedge shots set up birdie putts inside four feet in the first four holes. He banged in another on No. 16 then overcame a bogey-bogey mishap linking both nines with birdies on Nos. 2 and 5 before tapping in on the ninth after missing an eagle-putt from 20 feet off a 4-iron shot from 239 yards.

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TAGS: Dino Villanueva, Elmer Salvador, Peter Stojanovski, Summit Point World 18 Challenge

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