DANNY Masrin hit two late birdies to salvage an even par 72 to keep a one-stroke lead after the second round of the $60,000 ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic on Thursday in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Masrin, shot an opening 68, threatened to pull away with three straight birdies from No. 3 but faltered in the wind midway, dropping five strokes in a six-hole stretch from No. 9.
But he came through with superb iron shots that set up birdie putts on Nos. 15 and 18 to regaining the lead at four-under 140, just a stroke ahead of Guido Van der Valk.
“I was playing good in the first nine and suddenly my game disintegrated. I lost my patience. It’s quite windy in the afternoon. It really bothered me right on the first hole,” said Masrin.
Van der Valk, a regular campaigner in the Philippine Golf Tour but still in search of a win, birdied four of the last five holes for a 68 and a 141 total.
Finland’s Janne Kaske shot a 71 and was tied for third at 141 with Marvin Dumandan, who came up with a 70.
James Ryan Lam carded a 71 to join six others at 143, including Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden.
“I didn’t expect to be in contention given this condition but I hope to stay in the hunt,” said Dumandan.
Fifty-eight players made it to the final two rounds.
“I have to play with mental toughness because the last two rounds are quite difficult. The best golfers are there and to win you have to be in your best element,” said Masrin.
Zetterwall pressed his bid early with four birdies in the first eight holes but he bogeyed the next two and dropped three strokes on the par-3 second hole. He wound up with a 72.
Jay Bayron shot a 73 and was tied for 12th at 144 with Samuel Chien of the US.
Jun Bernis, who shot a 70 in the first round, limped with a 78 in the tournament backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade and Champion