CARL Santos-Ocampo leaped from eighth spot to the top of the leaderboard with a sizzling seven-under 65 in the second round of the P1 million ICTSI Tagaytay Midlands Challenge on Thursday.
Santos-Ocampo went bogey free and came up with nines of 32-33 to move to 135, while Tony Lascuña hit two eagles in a round of 65 for second place at 136.
Randy Garalde, chasing his first tour win, turned in a bogey-free 67 for a 137 total and a spot in the championship flight.
“My ball striking was solid throughout the round which allowed me several good looks at birdies and I also made good strokes with the putter the entire day and fortunately a lot of those putts went it,” said Santos-Ocampo.
Winner of one PGT event last season and twice a third placer this year, Santos-Ocampo is thrilled to set up a final-round flight with Lascuna.
“Wins don’t come when you force it, so tomorrow I’ll just enjoy the atmosphere playing alongside one of my favorite golfers and see what happens,” said Santos-Ocampo.
Lascuna, seeking a follow-up to his victory in Calatagan last May, eagled Nos. 6 and 16, the first a pitch-in from 40 yards and the other a tap-in after a superb 5-iron shot from 220 yards.
“It will be tough but I’ll try my best,” said Lascuna.
Long-hitting Rey Pagunsan, a former national amateur standout seeking an end to a long victory drought, shot a five-under 67 for a 138 total.
Also at 138 were Jay Bayron, who fired a 68, and overnight leader Elmer Salvador, who had two bogeys against a birdie in the last 10 holes for a 71.
Miguel Tabuena, winner of the season opener at Sherwood, had a 68 for a 139 total and a share of seventh place with Nilo Salahog, who carded a 70.
Rancho Palos Verdes winner Michal Bibat came up with a 67 to join Elmer Saban (72) in ninth place at 140 in the event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc., organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Srixon, Custom Clubmakers, Pacsports, Cleveland Golf, Callaway, Ping, Mizuno, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, FootJoy, Titleist, Sharp and BMW.