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Nakajima rides the wind

TAGAYTAY — Toru Nakajima took command with a gutsy 70 in blustery conditions, wresting a two-stroke lead over erstwhile leader U Minn Woon and four others, including amateurs Gab Manotoc and Russell Bautista, halfway through the Philippine Golf Tour Q-School at Splendido Taal here Wednesday.

Nakajima, the 2013 PGT winner at Wack Wack, used a hot backside start to recover from an opening 73, birdieing 10 and 11 then picking up another stroke on 3. He, however, fumbled with a bogey on 5 for a 143.

Fifty-one players advanced into the final two rounds. Thirty-five cards are at stake in the qualifying.

Comebacking Elmer Salvador, the 2009 Order of Merit winner, knocked in four birdies in a five-hole stretch from 2 on his way to a 69 Tuesday.

From the brink with an opening 80, Salvador moved to joint ninth on 149 with Josh Jorge who carded a 75.

Woon started well with birdies on 2 and 6 but unraveled with back-to-back bogeys from 8 before dropping four shots in the last seven holes.

The 28-year-old Malaysian skied to a 76 and fell into a tie for second on145 with Manotoc, Bautista, Salahog, and Korean Hyun Ho Rho.

Manotoc, a former SEA Games national team member, rebounded from a 74 with a 71, anchoring his fightback with a closing frontside 35 marked by three birdies against two bogeys.

Bautista bucked a two-bogey front nine with three straight birdies from 10 but the 22-year-old Cebuano wavered with two bogeys against a birdie in the last five holes to settle for a 72.

Hyun, who turned pro in Europe last year but who now calls Mount Malarayat his home, mixed two birdies with the same number of bogeys for a 72 while Salahog stumbled with four bogeys against two birdies and limped with a 74.

The leading scores after two rounds:
143 — Toru Nakajima (73-70)
145 — Russell Bautista (am) (73-72), Hyun Ho Rho (73-72), Gabriel Manotoc (am) (74-71), U Minn Woon (69-76), Nilo Salahog (71-74)
146 — Gen Nagai (74-72)
148 — Michael Regan Wong (75-73)
149 — Josh Jorge (74-75), Elmer Salvador (80-69)
150 — Leandro Bagtas (am) (77-73), Jonas Magcalayo (75-75), Rene Menor (73-77), Carlos Packing (72-78)
151 — Henry Bolano (74-77), Kuresh Samanodi (76-75)
152 — Ferdie Aunzo (75-77), Robert Pactolerin (75-77), Allan Remata (78-74), Kristoffer Arevalo (am) (78-74)
153 — Elee Bisera (80-73), Ivan Monsalve (78-75), Atsushi Ueda (77-76)
154 — Rolando Marabe Jr. (75-79), Jeffrey Pito-On (78-76), Elmer Saban (76-78), Peter Villaber (75-79)
155 — Kang Chon Koo (81-74), Kim Seong Guk (73-82), Lee Song (79-76), Bonifacio Salahog (79-76), Jelbert Gamolo (74-81)
156 — Omar Dungca (77-79), GJ Katigbak (76-80), Pepito Rico (77-79)
157 — Ian Matchado (77-80), Sonny Almazan (77-80), Teodoro Lucio Osabel (79-78), Francis Morilla (78-79), Miko Pactolerin (79-78), Don Petil (78-79)

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