Taipei, October 2: Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna signed for second round one-under-par 71 to move into contention on a tough scoring day at the US$650,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters on Friday.
Lascuna, who finished tied-second last year, fired three birdies against two bogeys for a one-under-par 143 total at the challenging Taiwan Golf and Country Club’s Tamsui course.
China’s Liang Wen-chong, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and local prospect Pan Cheng-tsung matched the efforts of Lascuna after posting rounds of 73, 73 and 72 at the long-running Asian Tour event.
Local veteran Lin Wen-tang and Adilson Da Silva of Brazil stood tall amidst the windy conditions when they returned with solid 69s to stay one shot back on 144.
With the swirling wind speed of up to 40 mph, Lascuna remained calm and composed to cap an encouraging round as he continues to keep chase with a maiden Asian Tour win.
“My putting was good and I drove the ball well. You have to be good off the tee to play well on this course. I thought my game was pretty steady given the tough conditions out there. The winds were blowing strong and the greens are grainy but this is the Tamsui course that I used to know!” said the 44-year-old Filipino.
“I finished well here last year and that has given me a bit of confidence coming to this week. The way I tackled the course these two days were pretty similar to how I played last year. If I can play like how I did last year, I should have a chance to win this week,” added Lascuna.
Despite the gutsy conditons, Siddikur put his experience to good effect as he marked his card with six birdies against six bogeys and a double-bogey.
“I started off well actually but it was really challenging out there. The winds were strong and there were more gusts today. It was hard to determine the wind directions and all but I’m happy with how I played, given the tough conditions,” said the 30-year-old Siddikur, who closed with a 17-yard chip-in birdie on the ninth.
“I’m happy with where I stand at the moment. We still have two more days to go. We will see what happens. I can say I am 90% recovered from the back injury last year. I go to the physios during tournament week and it helps. It’s improving everyday,” added the Bangladeshi.