Pastor, Menor take charge; Juvic 2 down
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - June 29, 2019 - 12:00am

ILOILO, Philippines — They matched outputs for the third straight day and Spain’s Marcos Pastor and local pride Rene Menor bring their virtual head-to-head duel to a deciding round that could be anybody’s race.

Pastor birdied the 18th from six feet to cap an eagle-aided 68, the same card dished out by Menor as new leaders emerged in as many days in the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge heading to an unpredictable finish here today.

The duo, who missed the cut last week in Marapara, took charge with 203s but Sydney-based Filipino Fidel Concepcion lurked just behind at 204, also after a 66, while Juvic Pagunsan failed to launch his patented third round charge but still pulled within two at 205 but only after a late charge of three birdies in the last six holes for his own version of a 68.

Reymon Jaraula also fired a 66 and Michael Bibat rebounded to salvage a second straight 70 as they joined the fancied Pagunsan at fourth, making it a six-way battle for the top P550,000 purse in the last of the four-stage Visayan swing of the Philippine Golf Tour put up by ICTSI.

Menor, whose house is located near the 17th hole, flashed his local knowledge of the course he calls home for the third straight day but rued his poor putting, marred by misses from short range on Nos. 3 and 8.

“I could’ve taken the lead if not for those missed putts,” said Menor, whose form took a dip since scoring a breakthrough at PGT Asia in Splendido in 2017.

Pastor’s last-hole feat complemented his other birdie putt on the par-5 14th that checked a rollercoaster round that featured two birdies against two bogeys and an eagle against a double bogey that put the Spaniard within reach of a dream victory on the Philippine Golf Tour after topping the PGT Q-School (foreign) at Splendido last February.

“I played aggressive and pretty good,” said Pastor, hinting at a closing five-under card to win the tourney.

But if the first two rounds were any indications, Pastor and Menor, will have to toughen up to foil the expected final round charge by a host of bidders.

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