Frankie sets pace at halfway mark, guards against fatigue
Frankie Miñoza was the only player to break par for the second straight day in the ICTSI Negros Occidental Golf Classic.
But despite his fine form that netted him the solo lead, the 62-year-old legend refused to gauge his chances of winning for the first time in seven years.
“Fatigue will be a big factor, I’m getting old,” said Miñoza after returning a one-under-par 69 over the demanding Marapara layout that was buffeted by strong winds and extreme humidity. “There are still two more days, so I can’t talk about my chances.”
Coupled with an opening 68, Miñoza will take a 137 aggregate into round three, three shots ahead of Albin Engino and four-up on a seven-man pack that counts the seasoned Jonel Ababa even as Sarah Ababa fired a 74 to open up a six-shot lead over Pamela Mariano, who also returned a 74, in the P875,000 ladies event.
Starting the day tied with Miñoza, Engino rescued a 72 with a birdie on No. 18, while Jonel Ababa mixed three birdies with the same number of bogeys in a 34-36 to lead six others with 141 tallies.
Antonio Lascuña, last year’s match play champion at Villamor, is in a seven-man group that lurks another shot behind after a 72, with Clyde Mondilla shooting a 68 to join that group.
Dutchman Guido Van der Valk, the consensus man to beat coming into the first leg of the busy season, fired a 69 to stay seven shots down, with Zannie Boy Gialon joining him at 144 with 36 holes left to play.
Only the top 40 scores and ties advanced and Q School medalist Hyun Ho-ryo of South Korea made it on the number—149 or nine-over—after skying to an 80 that went with an opening 69 that had him starting the day just one shot off the joint leaders.
Former national players Gab Manotoc, Elee Bisera and Kristoffer Arevalo saw their pro debuts end abruptly after rounds of 72 (151), 76 (152) and 71 (155), respectively. INQ