Nakajima fires 68 in the wind, up by 2
MORONG, Bataan, Philippines – Toru Nakajima birdied the two par-5s to kick off and close out his solid four-under 68 despite windy condition, wresting the clubhouse lead over Angelo Que at the start of the P3.5 million ICTSI Anvaya Cove Invitational stopped due to darkness at the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club here yesterday.
Nakajima, last to start in the morning group, outgunned Elmer Salvador, American Micah Shin and Korean Kim Jun Sik with a fine display of shotmaking, iron play and putting, drilling in a 26-foot birdie putt on No. 10 where they teed off then gunning down birdies on Nos. 17 and 4 before holing out with another on No. 9 for a two-shot lead over Que, who carded a 70.
He spiked his superb round with saved pars as the Japanese ace served notice of his bid for a first crown since beating Jay Bayron in a playoff for the Wack Wack Championship in 2013 in the country’s premier circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
“The wind was very strong, the strongest I ever experienced here and I’m lucky to have made a sub-par round,” said Nakajima, referring to the flag-bending gusts that blew the early bids of Tony Lascuña (84) and Clyde Mondilla (80) and turned a number of tournament tables upside down.
But the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. halted play in gathering dusk with 14 flights to complete play at 6:15 a.m. today.
“I played flawless game. My putting, irons and short game were in place. Hopefully, I keep my game the last three rounds,” said Nakajima, who placed third in The Country Club Invitational two weeks ago.