GEN. TRIAS, Cavite—Jay Bayron took charge despite a frontside meltdown, carding a second straight 71 then holding off a late assault by Tony Lascuña to lead by two halfway through the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Challenge at the wind-raked Faldo course here yesterday.
Bayron, a multi-titled campaigner seeking to snap a long spell on the Philippine Golf Tour, rattled off three straight birdies from No. 13 to move from third to the top but fumbled with a bogey on No. 16 and dropped two more strokes Nos. 3 and 6 against a birdie on the first hole.
But he held sway at 142 as the rest failed to mount a charge in another challenging day although Lascuña fought back late with birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 after a run of pars at the back and in the first four holes at the front. But he failed to move within one with a bogey on the seventh, finishing with a 71 for a 144 and putting himself in the title chase in the P2.5 million event put up by ICTSI.
Another stroke back at 145 were Paul Harris, Toru Nakajima of Japan and Dutch Guido Van der Valk, who moved to joint third in varying fashions. The American rallied with a 70 to stay in contention, the Japanese, who shared the first round lead with Ira Alido at 70, hobbled with a 75, while the Dutchman, who placed third in last week’s Solaire Philippine Open at The Country Club, had a two-birdie, three-bogey stint at the front before parring the backside for a 73.
Dino Giacommazi also charged back late with a three-under card with six holes left at the front. But the American shotmaker, a qualifier in the PGT Q-School at Splendido, stumbled with a bogey on No. 4 and dropped another stroke on the seventh before holing out with a birdie for a 70. He tied compatriot Nicolas Paez, who turned in a second 73, at 146.
Obscure Edward Reyes fired a 71 and tied Michael Bibat, who fumbled with a 74, at 147.
Alido, who surprised the elite field with a lead-grabbing 70 in the first round, fell off the leaderboard with a thud, limping with three bogeys and a triple-bogey 7 on the 18th without a birdie to show. With a 148 total, the sophomore pro slipped to joint 10th with Ferdie Aunzo and Rico Depilo, who both carded 71s, Jhonnel Ababa and Reymon Jaraula, who groped with identical 74s.
Clyde Mondilla failed to make good his vow to rebound from poor stints in the TCC Invitational and Phl Open as the reigning PGT Order of Merit champion skied to a 78 for a 155 and missed the cut by two in the 72-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and serving as the kickoff leg of this year’s PGT.
Other casualties in the event, backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc., were Jerson Balasabas (76-154), Robert Pactolerin (76-154), Elmer Salvador (77-155), Jobim Carlos (76-156), Keanu Jahns (82-158) and PGT Asia leg winner Rene Menor (89-159).