KOREAN amateur Hwang Kang Yul fought back with a closing 35 to salvage a three-over 75 in harsh conditions then watched Rufino Bayron choke at the finish to grab a one-stroke lead in the second round of the P1 million ICTSI Calatagan Challenge on Thursday in Batangas.
Hwang, who shot a flawless 67 to tie Bayron for the first-round lead on Wednesday, made four bogeys in a birdie-less back nine for a 40 in the morning session. But the 19-year-old Riviera bet recovered with a birdie on the sixth for that 75 and threatened to upstage the local pro field with a 142.
Heavy mid-morning rains spawned by Typhoon Ofel forced the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. to suspend play for over an hour and Bayron and the rest of the afternoon group struggled in tough, soggy conditions at the resumption, sending the scores soaring.
Bayron bogeyed the last two holes and wound up with a 76 to drop to second at 143.
Mhark Fernando turned in the day’s lone under-par card of 71 as he joined Bayron in second place, well within sight of the top P200,000 prize heading into the final 18 holes of the tournament serving as the 13th leg of the 15-stage circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Asian Tour and ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan, who opened with an eagle-aided 72, turned in a disastrous round of 10-over 82 marred by a quadruple bogey on the par-4 10th. He made the cut by three with a 154 total but lay 12 shots off Hwang at joint 30th.
Christopher de los Santos carded a second straight 73 to share fourth at 146 with Orlan Sumcad, who hobbled with a 75, while Marvin Dumandan and Arnold Villacencio both had 77s and were in joint sixth at 147.
The rest also stood too far behind the top three, with defending champion Jhonnel Ababa scoring a 78 for joint eighth at 148 with Charles Hong, who had 77, and Joenard Rates, who had a 79.
Elmer Salvador carded a 76 for a 159 total in a tie with Richard Sinfuego (77), Jerson Balasabas and Anthony Fernando, who both had 75s in the tournament also backed by Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.