LINDSAY Renolds recovered from a fumbling start to salvage a four-under 68 and keep a one-stroke lead as Scott Barr of Australia moved to second after the second round of the Philippine Open at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Renolds, who shot a flawless 66 Friday to wrest control of the weather-shortened US$300,000 event, stumbled with his first bogey on No. 1 but hit five birdies in the next 11 holes then made par on the final holes.
The Canadian golfer salvaged pars on Nos. 15 and 16 to stay on top at 134 with one round to play in the Asian Tour season-ender.
Barr charged back from joint 11th to solo second at 135 with an eagle-spiked 66.
Miguel Tabuena slipped from joint second to a share of third despite an eagle-aided 69, saying he did not take advantage of birdie chances.
The 21-year-old Filipino pro chipped-in from 12 feet for eagle on the last hole after a solid 5-wood second shot from 236 yards to stay in the hunt for a first Asian Tour win.
“I lipped out about five times and got frustrated. It is easy to lose your temper here because there are so many birdie holes and if you miss it, you will lose ground. I have to be as patient as possible tomorrow,” said Tabuena.
“There will be players who will try and force things. I’ve been in this position before and I know I can come out on top this time.”
Finland’s Kalle Samooja also rebounded from an opening bogey mishap with seven birdies but missed a chance to join Barr at second with a bogey on the 18th, settling for 67.
That put him in joint third with Tabuena, India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, who shot a 69, and Korea’s Giwhan Kim, who carded a second straight 68.
Khalin Joshi of India (67), South Africa’s Keith Horne (68), Ireland’s Niall Turner (68), Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil (70) and young Korean ace Jeunghun Wang (70) were at 137.
Simon Griffiths of England shot a 68 and Thai Tirawat Kaewsiribandit carded a 70 to sit at 138.
Barr vowed to dish out his best and go for the pin in the final round of the tournament offering a top prize of $54,000, sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and sanctioned by the Asian Tour and National Golf Association of the Philippines.
“Obviously this is a huge week. For me I just want to play my best and it is going well. I’ll try and be aggressive tomorrow (today),” said Barr, who turned his fortunes around on the greens after receiving a putting tip from former Asian Tour member Ahmad Bateman.
“He helped me with some alignment issues that I was having and some simple drills. It is something akin to what I’ve done in the past. It gave me a lot of thoughts on how I used to roll it so well. Obviously when the putter starts rolling, the fairways get wider and everything gets easier,” said Barr.
Charles Hong fired a 68 to stand five strokes off Renolds at 139 in a tie with Juvic Pagunsan, who fumbled with a late bogey for a 71, former champion Mardan Mamat (71), Korean Charlie Wi (69), Janne Kaske of Finland (68) and Aussie Adam Groom (69).
The other fancied local bets struggled in wet condition with Tony Lascuna and Elmer Salvador barely making the cut at 144 with 72 and 71, respectively, heading to the final round of the 54-hole event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT, FIBR, Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC), Amon Trading, Central Azucarera de Tarlac and Ayala Land, Inc. with San Miguel Corp., Suntrust Properties and Sta. Lucia as hole sponsors.
Among those set to miss the final round are two-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand (70-145), Cassius Casas (74-146), Frankie Minoza (74-147) and amateur Rupert Zaragosa (69-148).
“It‘s exciting to be in this position. My game feels good, I feel good. I’m not really worried or nervous. We will see what tomorrow (today) brings. It is just another round of golf for me,” said Renolds.