CASSIUS Casas came up with a two-under 70 to keep a one-stroke lead after the second round of the P3.5 million Manila Masters on Wednesday at Eastridge Golf Club in Bingangonan, Rizal.
The Davaoeno shotmaker, who matched the course record 65 in the opener, had a quieter round this time with just three birdies while battling the wind for a nine-under 135 total.
“I struggled with my putting but overall I had a good round,” said Casas, seeking to check a rollercoaster campaign marked by two top five finishes but marred by three missed cuts. “For as long as my long and short games are okay, I will be alright.”
Elmer Salvador moved up to second spot after firing a six-under 66 highlighted by three birdies in the last four holes.
“Maganda ang palo ko,” said Salvador. “Ayos lang ang posisyon ko, me dalawang araw pa naman at marami pang mangyayari.”
Mhark Fernando fired a 70 after an opening 67, staying in third place at 137, while teen star Miguel Tabuena slipped from second to fifth after adding a 74 to his opening 66.
Tony Lascuna, winner at Eagle Ridge and Valley, was at 138 after a second-round 70.
Jhonnel Ababa and Anthony Fernando shot identical 71s to tie Benjie Magada, who matched par 72, at sixth at 141.
Jay Bayron, winner at Splendido, turned from awesome to awful with a 78 after a 68, dropping to joint eighth with Ferdie Aunzo, who rallied with a 69, and James Ryan Lam, who made a 74.
Angelo Que, who opened with a 70, had a 74 and fell to joint 11th at 144 with Anthony Fernando, Dante Becierra (73), Carl Santos-Ocampo (75), and Jessie Balasabas (73).
Sherwood winner Charles Hong shot a 77 for a 150 total, missing the cut by one.
Frankie Minoza failed to recover from an opening 77, firing a 75 for a 152 and also failed to advance in the eighth leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, organized by PIlipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Srixon, FootJoy, It’s More Fun in the Philippines, Callaway, Mizuno, Custom Clubmakers, Titleist, Sharp and KZG, with Balls Channel, Inquirer Golf and ABS-CBN Sports+Action as media partners.