Rufino Bayron surged past Angelo Que with a stirring eagle-spiked nine-under card after 15 holes before play was halted due to darkness, leaving the former at 12-under with three holes to play halfway through ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at Orchard’s Palmer course in Dasmariñas, Cavite on Thursday.
Que took advantage of a switch in tee-time and fired a three-under 69 to break off a five-way tie for the clubhouse lead at eight-under 136 total but yielded the provisional lead to a charging Bayron, who tamed the softened layout due to earlier rain with a birdie-binge at the back, spiked by a three straight from No. 14 en roué to a 31.
He kept going in gathering dusk at the front, birdying the first two holes then left the course after an eagle on the par-5 No. 6, carrying with him a nine-under card and a running 12-under aggregate, including a 69 Wednesday, and hopes for another shot at a breakthrough victory after a final round meltdown at ICTSI Splendido last March.
All unfinished second round games will resume at 6:30 a.m. today with the top 50 players plus advancing to the final 36 holes of the $60,000 event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. with the third round to start not earlier than 9 a.m.
Que, who shot a 67 despite a late start to grab a share of the lead Wednesday, hit three birdies at the back early in the day to cushion the impact of a shaky finish when heavy downpour halted play for about two hours and rendered the fairways soggy and the greens softer and slower.
“I really wanted to get to 10-under but I kind of overshot the ninth green and three-putted,” said Que, who closed out with a par-birdie-bogey stint at the front at resumption of play. “But I’m happy with my ball-striking.”
It was actually a wobbly finish for the three-time Asian Tour champion, who looked headed for an explosive round after birdying Nos. 11 and 12 from close range and gunning down a six-footer for his third birdie on No. 17. But after a run of pars at the front, he missed the No. 5 green, birdied No. 6 from six feet and rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 8.
Still, his second straight under-par card gave him a 36-hole haul of 136 while Scot Clarke Lutton rallied with a 32 at the front for a 69 and a 137.
It took Lutton, 26, some time before finding his rhythm as he bounced back from a backside 37, marred by a bogey on No. 13 where had to take a penalty drop after he drove into an unplayable lie. But he birdied the first three holes at the front inside five feet, reeled back with a bogey on No. 4 but banged in a curling 25-foot birdie putt on the par-3 No. 5. He capped his fightback with a tap-in birdie on the sixth for that 32 and a 69.
But Cassius Casas and Aussie Matthew McBain, who also shot 67s in the first round, failed to finish and will complete their respective rounds early today. Casas and McBain had one-under cards after 12 holes for a running six-under card
Japanese Yutaka Araki, who also fired 67 Wednesday, struggled with a five-over card 77 and tumbled down to joint 39th at 144.
Aussie RJ Caracella, who also opened with a 67, limped with a 74 and slid to joint 17th at 141 in the event serving as the seventh leg of the Asian Development Tour and the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Japanese Tomokazu Yoshinaga, meanwhile, shot a 67 to pool a 138 while James Ryan Lam and Keanu Jahns turned in a pair of 68s in a tie with American Brett Munson, who fired a 69, and Malaysian Arie Irawan, who carded a 70, at 139.
Benjie Magada rebounded from an awful 74 with the day’s best 66 to move up to 140 with Clyde Mondilla, who matched par 72, Michael Bibat, who carded a second straight 70.
Masaru Takahashi, also of Japan, had a three-under card after six holes for a running seven-under aggregate, Rufino Bayron birdied three of the first six holes at the back for a six-under total, while Jhonnel Ababa had a two-under round after 12 holes for a running five-under aggregate in a tie with Arnold Villacencio, who was at one-under after six holes at the back.