Scott Barr shot a four-under 68 and broke away from a tie with Englishman George Thacker to post a two-stroke lead over fellow Australian Ryan Bulloch halfway through the $60,000 Orchard Golf Championship at the Orchard’s Palmer Course on Thursday in Dasmariñas, Cavite.
Weather improved a bit and Barr, along with those who got stranded in the rain-delayed first round Wednesday, returned early morning and birdied two of the last five holes at the back for a 66 which Thacker matched for a share of the lead.
But Barr, out to atone for his so-so 38th place finish in last week’s Aboitiz Invitational in Cebu, sustained his charge in second round play, birdying three of the first eight holes then added two more birdies at the front against a lone bogey for a 68 and a 36-hole haul of 134.
That was two shots ahead of Bulloch, who also had a miserable showing in the first of two Asian Development Tour legs in the country at joint 50th but made two solid rounds of 69-67 to be in early contention at 136.
Thacker, who finished 53rd and last in Cebu, also stayed on course for redemption and in the hunt for the top prize of $10,465 with a seven-under 137 after a 71.
Tony Lascuna, who kept the foreign bets in sight with a brilliant 32 at the back to complete his first round of 67, struggled in the second round, making a double-bogey on No. 13 and then dropping a stroke for the second-straight day on the first hole.
The current Order of Merit leader on the Philippine Golf Tour rebounded with four birdies in the last eight holes to salvage a 71 for a 138 total.
Some in the 109-player starting field still failed to finish their second round play although at 10-under overall, Barr is a cinch to clinch the 36-hole honors.
Japanese Mitsuhiko Hazishume and Fil-Am Carl Santos-Ocampo, who shared the clubhouse lead at 68 in the first round, had similar one-over cards after nine holes to drop to three-under overall while Singapore’s Quincy Quek had a one-under card after six holes for four-under overall.
Elmer Salvador, who beat Lascuna by six in Cebu, settled for a pair of 71s for a 142 and stood eight strokes off Barr. Other two-under par scorers were Indonesian George Gandranata (71) and Peter Richardson (70), while Jhonnel Ababa and Korean Unho Park posted two-under cards overall after six holes.