Date: April 05, 2008

Flint maintains the pace

Kodai Ichihara maintained a one-stroke lead over Australian Gavin Flint after two rounds of the Philippine Open following a two-under-par 70 on Friday. The Japanese player, who opened with a six-under 66 at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club on Thursday, continued in the same vein at the start of his second round, firing five birdies to move to 11 under after 10 holes. However, the 25-year-old&aposs momentum was slowed by a double bogey on the fifth, his 14th hole of the day, and he finished the day on eight under after dropping another shot on the seventh. Flint, though, remained in second place after finishing strongly for a 70 in windy conditions with compatriot Ashley Hall alone in third on five under after a 71. Chinese Taipei&aposs Lin Wen-tang, the winner of the Asian Tour International two weeks ago, was a further shot back in fourth after firing the day&aposs best score of 67, while England&aposs Chris Rodgers shot a 69 to put himself in a three-way tie for fifth on three under with Korea&aposs Young Nam (70) and local player Antonio Lascuna (70). Competing in only his third Asian Tour event of the season, Ichihara was left to rue the double bogey which cost him a bigger lead going into the third round on Saturday. “I hit a wayward drive and the ball landed on the right rough off the fairway,” he said. “My second shot passed the green and I misjudged again in my third shot. I then three-putted for a double bogey on that hole and realised how costly it can be over here.” “You have to constantly try and make the fairways. I am a bit nervous heading into the third round but I hope to remain calm and play it safe.” Meanwhile, Flint was delighted with a solid finish to his round. The Australian trailed Ichihara by five shots at one stage but birdies at four of his last six holes put him right back into contention for his first victory on the Asian Tour. “It is always nice to finish with a birdie,” said the Singapore-based player. “I was very happy to shoot a two under these windy conditions. I&aposm very excited with my position as I&aposve stuck to my routine all this time and it&aposs finally showing now.” Second Round of the Philippine Open (Par 72): -8: Kodai Ichihara 66 70 -7: Gavin Flint (Australia) 67 70 -5: Ashley Hall (Australia) 68 71 -4: Lin Wen-tang 73 67 -3: Antonio Lascuna 71 70, Chris Rodgers 72 69, Young Nam 71 70 -2: Danny Chia 71 71 -1: Benjie Magada 67 76 E: Angelo Que 73 71, Jay Byron 73 71, Chawalit Plaphol 68 76 +1: Michael Wright (Australia) 69 76, Chen Yuan-chi 73 72, Juvic Pagunsan 74 71, Lin Keng-chi 71 74, Martin Rominger 73 72, Ross Bain 76 69, Mardan Mamat 73 72, Mitchell Brown (Australia) 72 73, Wisut Artjanawat 70 75 Also: +2: Richard Gallichan (Australia) 74 72, Brad Kennedy (Australia) 71 75, Andrew Dodt (Australia) 74 72 +3: Adam Le Vesconte (Australia) 73 74 +4: Richard Moir (Australia) 73 75 +6: Pat Giles (Australia) 72 78, David Gleeson (Australia) 77 73 +7: Marcus Both (Australia) 74 77, Jason King (Australia) 74 77, Kevin Chun (New Zealand) 74 77 +9: Scott Barr (Australia) 74 79 +10: Brad McIntosh (Australia) 77 77, Henry Epstein (Australia) 76 78 +11: Neven Basic (Australia) 73 82 +12: Unho Park (Australia) 80 76