Q School grads show way at Apo
LOCAL GOLF

As fancied bets struggle, Q School grads show way at Apo

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:10 AM March 13, 2024

Ozeki Kakeru:

Ozeki Kakeru. –CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Members of the recent Q School Qualifying class returned level 72s at the start on Tuesday of the P2.5 million ICTSI Apo Golf Classic in Davao, giving the talented field of how tough the rest of the week will be considering how the fancied bets struggled over the tree-lined layout.

Ozeki Kakeru of Japan and Edmar Salvador Jr. took the 18-hole lead over a three-man pack led by Jonel Ababa even as the ailing Antonio Lascuña was bunched in an eight-strong group that included Guido van der Valk of The Netherlands trailing the leaders by three after 75s.

“I just made late birdies,” Kakeru said in broken English as he reiterated that it will be a virtual battle for survival in the next three rounds over the course regarded for the longest time as one of the toughest tests in the country. “It was so hot.”

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Kakeru’s three birdies came inside his final four holes as he rescued a 38-34 card, with Salvador Jr., a nephew of former Order of Merit winner Elmer Salvador who also grew up near Apo Golf, closing with a bogey 6 to miss taking the lead by his lonesome.

“I played it as well as I could,” Salvador Jr. said in Filipino. “My target for the day was just to hit fairways and greens and two-putt them all.”

Ababa had a costly bogey on No. 16 and missed gaining a share of the lead, even as Jay Bayron and Elmer Salvador, also products of the Apo Golf program several decades back, fired 74s like Russell Bautista and Nilo Salahog to be within striking distance.

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