Orlan Sumcad shouldered himself past Jay Bayron and Marvin Dumandan with a blistering charge at Mt. Lobo and shot a six-under 66 to grab a two-stroke lead over the erstwhile joint leaders midway through the P2 million ICTSI Classic in Lipa, City, Batangas on Thursday.
Sumcad used his power off the tee and superb iron play to set up birdie chances but surprisingly made the long ones and flubbed a couple from shorter range on a surface that has started to firm up after days of rain.
Still, his 31-35 card proved enough for the long-hitting Bacolod shotmaker to wrest control at eight-under 136, counting his opening 70, putting him 36 holes away from finally nailing the elusive win on the country’s premier tour sponsored by ICTSI.
“My ball-striking and iron play clicked, made some long putts but missed the shorter ones,” said Sumcad, who has turned in seven top 10 finishes in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., including a joint runner-up with Zanieboy Gialon in the ICTSI Forest Hills Championship last June.
He tries to stay on top and in the hunt for the top P360,000 purse as he slugs it out with Bayron and Dumandan in the featured threesome today after the Davaoeño shotmakers carded similar 71s and remained tied for the second straight day at 138.
Mars Pucay, tied with Sumcad at fourth at the start of the round, made one brief charge at Mt. Malipunyo with a 33, added another birdie on No. 1 but bogeyed two of the last seven holes and settled for another 70 for solo fourth at 140, four shots off the pace.
Clyde Mondilla, who also opened with an eagle-spiked 70, fumbled early with a double-bogey and bogey from No. 5 but fought back with three straight birdies and gunned down another on No. 14 to save a 71 and tied obscure Erwin Arcillas, who fired a 69, at fifth at 141.
Jhonnel Ababa and Elmer Salvador also shot 69s to tie Gialon and Charles Hong, who carded 70s, and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who matched par 72, at seventh at 142 while Rico Depilo and Cassius Casas turned in a pair of 70s, Albin Engino made a 71 and Jobim Carlos sputtered with a 73 for joint 12th at 143.
Flashing solid shots off the mound, Sumcad gunned down birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 then closed out his Mt. Lobo stint with three straight birdies to tie Bayron, who made a 34, at seven-under overall. Dumandan, starting at Mt. Malipunyo, slipped off the lead with a 37.
But while Sumcad kept his fiery run and added two more birdies on Nos. 10 and 13 to storm ahead, Bayron fell back after birdying the par-3 11th as he dropped two strokes on the next and bogeyed the 16th, needing to birdie the tough par-4 18th to stay in step with Dumandan, who rallied with a 34.
The rest stood too far behind Sumcad at 144 total, including four-leg winner and pre-tournament favorite Tony Lascuña, who blew a 35 start at Mt. Lobo with two bogeys at the back for a 73. Other even par scorers were Ferdie Aunzo and Anthony Fernando, who shot similar 69s, Michael Bibat, who carded a 71, and Joenard Rates, who matched Lascuña’s 73.
Japanese Yuta Sudo made a 73, Robert Pactolerin struggled with a 74, Danny Zarate hobbled with a 75 and Artemio Murakami groped for a 76 for 149s as the four still made the cut at 149 and into the last 36 holes of the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.