TARLAC – Japanese Keita Sudo carded a second straight 70 while Choo Tze Huang of Singapore slowed down with a 71 as they shared the clubhouse lead halfway through the $100,000 ICTSI Luisita Championship at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here yesterday.
With half of the starting 107-player starting field, including opening round leader Thai Namchok Tantipokhakul, still to complete their second round play, Sudo and Choo took the provisional lead at four-under 140, two ahead of Arnold Villacencio and Enrico Gallardo, who pooled identical 142s even as newly crowned Philippine Open champion Clyde Mondilla broke par 71 to tie Korean Jun Min Seok and Laos’ Thammasack Bouahom at 143.
Deng Shan Koh, also of Singapore, turned in a 73 for joint eighth at 144 with Tony Lascuña, who hobbled with a 73, while Luke Trocado of South Africa, Spain’s Marcos Pastor and local ace Mhark Fernando rallied to assemble identical 145s.
Trocado turned in the most impressive card in hot conditions at the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layout, hitting five birdies while scrambling for pars in four times that he went out of regulation to save a bogey-free 34-33 card after a bogey-marred 78 Monday.
Though he remained far behind the clubhouse leaders, he hopes to sustain his charge in the last 36 holes and get a crack at the championship in this kickoff leg of the third season of Philippine Golf Tour Asia put up by ICTSI.
Sudo, who barely made it in last week’s PGT Asia qualifying tournament, birdied two of the first three holes then fought back from a bogey-double-bogey mishap from No. 5 with birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 then parred the rest to match his opening round 70.
Choo, one of those stranded in the rain-hit first round, double bogeyed the par-5 16th at resumption but birdied the 18th to shoot a 69 and settled for joint third with four others. He birdied three of the first six holes at the back in the second round but fumbled with a bogey on No. 16 and dropped two strokes on the tricky par-3 second hole, needing to birdie the fourth for the second straight to salvage a 71.