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Polthai hangs tough




STA. ROSA, Laguna – Tawit Polthai checked an alarming skid with birdies in the last two holes to salvage a four-over 76 and barely hang on to the clubhouse lead after 36 holes of the Solaire Philippine Open Thursday at The Country Club here.

Shocking was Juvic Pagunsan’s second round performance. The country’s best bet here, hard-pressed to come up with a big rebound after an opening 77 Wednesday, dropped six strokes right on his first hole at the par-5 10th and bowed out in the race for even a spot in the last 36 holes of the $500,000 championship.

He bogeyed three of the next five, dropped two strokes on the par-3 17th, double-bogeyed no. 1 and made two more bogeys against a lone birdie in the next five to finish with an atrocious 86 for a 19-over 163 in an unlikely stint for a player who came into the event oozing with confidence following a seven-stroke romp in ICTSI Riviera Challenge.

After bucking tough conditions in a late start for a solid 67 in the first round, Polthai oddly groped for form while playing in one of the early flights yesterday, bogeying the first two holes at the back and spending the rest of the round either scrambling to save par or trying to save his spot at the top.