RUFINO Bayron was nine under through 15 holes, moving to the top spot at 12-under as second-round play was halted due to darkness on Thursday in the ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at the Orchard in Dasmarinas, Cavite.
Bayron, who had an opening 69, went on a birdie binge on the back nine including three straight from No. 14.
He kept going in gathering dusk at the front, birdying the first two holes then left the course after an eagle on the par-5 No. 6.
Angelo Que earlier fired a three-under 69 for a two-day total of eight-under 136 before Bayron’s charge.
All unfinished second round games resume early Friday, with the top 50 players plus ties advancing to the final 36 holes of the $60,000 event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
The third round will start not earlier than 9 a.m.
Que, who shot a 67 despite a late start to grab a share of the lead Wednesday, hit three birdies at the back early in the day to cushion the impact of a shaky finish when heavy downpour halted play for about two hours and rendered the fairways soggy and the greens softer and slower.
“I really wanted to get to 10-under but I kind of overshot the ninth green and three-putted,” said Que, who closed out par-birdie-bogey. “But I’m happy with my ball-striking.”
Before the wobbly finish, the three-time Asian Tour winner looked headed for an explosive round after birdying Nos. 11 and 12 from close range and gunning down a six-footer for his third birdie on No. 17.
Scot Clarke Lutton fired a 69 for a 137 total.
Cassius Casas and Australia’s Matthew McBain, part of a five-way tie in the first round, were both at one-under through 12 holes, six-under overall.
Japan’s Yutaka Araki, part of that leading quintet at the start of the day, struggled with a five-over 77 and a 144 total.
Australia’s RJ Caracella, who also opened with a 67, limped with a 74 in the tournament serving as the seventh leg of the Asian Development Tour and the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Japan’s Tomokazu Yoshinaga, meanwhile, shot a 67 for a 138 total, while James Ryan Lam and Keanu Jahns turned in a pair of 68s in a tie with American Brett Munson, who fired a 69, and Malaysian Arie Irawan, who carded a 70, at 139.
Benjie Magada rebounded from an awful 74 with the day’s best 66 for a 140 aggregate, tied with Clyde Mondilla, who matched par 72, and Michael Bibat, who carded a second straight 70 in the event also backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports Phils. Inc., Srixon, Callaway, Mizuno, Empire Golf, Footjoy, Titleist, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and KZG.