BENJIE Magada came away with his best round in years, a bogey-free seven-under 65 that moved him to a three-shot lead over fancied Angelo Que and Elmer Salvador in the second round of the P2 million ICTSI Splendido Classic on Thursday at Splendido Taal Golf Club.
Magada sizzled with three birdies in the first four holes and went on to hit all but one green to climb from joint ninth to the top of the heap at nine-under 135.
“All just fell into place, my ball-striking, iron play and putting,” said Magada.
Magada, who last won in 2010, made back-to-back birdies from No. 10 but and again came up with two straight birdies from No. 16.
Que, also out to snap a long winless spell, made three birdies on the back nine for a two-under 70 and a share of second at 138 with Salvador, who turned in a bogey-free 69.
Tony Lascuña added a 71 to his opening 68 to sit four strokes behind at 139 in a tie with young gun Miguel Tabuena, who hit three straight birdies from No. 11and carded a 69.
Defending champion Jay Bayron sputtered at the finish with two bogeys in the last four holes and wound up with a 72, dropping to joint sixth at 141 with Clyde Mondilla (69), Richard Abaring (68), Dutch Guido Van der Valk (71) and Korean qualifier Jung Yong Hun (70).
Japan’s Toru Nakajima, who won the Wack Wack leg two years ago, shot a 70 to tie Randy Garalde, who fired a 69, at 142.
Erstwhile leader Rufino Bayron added a 76 to his 67 for a 143 total, tied for 13th with Ferdie Aunzo (70), Rico Depilo (76), Mars Pucay (69) and Korean Park Gyuha (71).