Tony Lascuña used a near-impeccable iron game to tame a ‘friendlier’ Norman course for a three-under 69 and a two-stroke lead over Charles Hong as erstwhile joint leaders Jay Bayron and Marvin Dumandan tumbled with over par scores at the tougher Faldo layout midway through the P3 million International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) Eagle Ridge Classic at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club on Wednesday in Cavite.
Lascuña, who barely survived a day-long ordeal at Faldo with a 71 Tuesday, came through with solid approach shots that set up four birdies inside five feet in scorching heat then rescued all but one par in four times that he went out of regulation for a 34-35 card and a 36-hole haul of 140.
That was two shots ahead of Hong, who birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to fire a 70, also at Norman, and assume the challenger’s role at 142 as Dumandan faltered early and barely recovered with a 74 for a 143 and Bayron wavered coming home for a 76, both at Faldo, for a 145.
Truly, of the 47 players who played at Faldo yesterday, no one produced an under-par card with two 73s proving to be the best, including one turned by Elmer Salvador that put him in joint fifth at 144 with Dante Becierra, who fumbled with a 74, and Canadian Rick Gibson, who shot a 71, both at Norman.
For a while, Dumandan looked headed for another stint at the top after parring the first nine holes but he lost his way trying to hit the pins at the back, bogeying the first two holes, dropping another stroke on No. 15 and needing to birdie the 18th to salvage a 74.
Dumandan dropped to joint third with Carl Santos-Ocampo, who made a 70 at Norman, at 143, three shots off the pace.