Philippine Daily Inquirer

STEADY MEESAWAT STAYS ON TOP BY 1

- By Roy Luarca @RLuarcaINQ

STA. ROSA, LAGUNA— Amid wicked conditions, challenger­s rose and either tied or came within range of Prom Meesawat halfway through the 100th Solaire Philippine Open at The Country Club here.

But the course and the winds pulled all of them down, leaving Meesawat standing all alone on top Thursday after carding a 73 and a 143 aggregate after two rounds.

“I’m very happy with my round because this course is long and windy and tough for everybody,” said Meesawat. “So I just have to be patient and try not to get into trouble. That’s the key for me.”

It was a noteworthy group of chasers that put Meesawat on his toes all day.

Dutch Guido Van der Valk shot 72, Aussie David Gleeson finished with a 77 while Miguel Tabuena fired a 72 as the trio at one point were tied with Meesawat at 1-under.

None had the staying power that Meesawat flaunted.

In fact, it was American Nicolas Paez who emerged as Meesawat’s immediate threat after shooting a 71 that put him one behind the stocky Thai ace.

“I’m very pleased with my round today (yesterday). To go under-par in the afternoon is quite a feat out here. I’m really happy to stick it out, grind it out,” said Paez.

Meesawat actually holed out with a bogey on No. 9 for a 37-36 card but he had the luck of the scheduling draw: He was spared of the harsh conditions that struck down his chasers in the record $600,000 event.

After a 73 in the first round, Tabuena, who birdied two par 5s at the back, salvaged par to share third place with Van der Valk, who blew an early two-under card and finished with a 72, at 145.

 ?? —RICHARDA. REYES ?? Miguel Tabuena stays within reach of the lead.
—RICHARDA. REYES Miguel Tabuena stays within reach of the lead.

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