RUFINO Bayron hit three birdies in the last seven holes for a five-under 66 and a four-stroke lead after Thursday’s second round of the ICTSI Riviera Classic in Silang, Cavite.
Seeking an end to a two-year title spell, Bayron has a nine-under 133 total with still 36 holes to play.
Micah Shin, impressive with an opening 65, looked headed for another superb round after he birdied No. 10 for the second straight day to go three-under. But he bogeyed the par-3 12th, dropped another stroke on No. 14 then bogeyed the last two.
Shin slipped to joint second at 137 in a tie with Clyde Mondilla, who carded a three-under 68.
Nicolas Paez, who had a so-so 72 in the first round, fired a 68 to gain a share of fourth with Jobim Carlos and Jay Bayron at 140, seven strokes off the pace.
Carlos shot a 71 while Jay Bayron, winner of the ADT event at Wack Wack last week, had a 69.
Rico Depilo carded a 70 to grab solo seventh at 142, while Artemio Murakami and John Rey Pactolerin fired identical 70s to join Charles Hong and Rey Pagunsan, who both shot 71s, and Jhonnel Ababa, who wavered with a 73, at 144.
Tony Lascuña, winner of four PGT events this season, added a 71 to his opening 74 for a share of 13th at 145 with Japan’s Shotaro Onuki and Korea’s Jun Min Seok, who had 70s, Paul Echavez, who fumbled with a 72, and Alvin Engino, who hobbled with a 76 in the P2 million championship sponsored by ICTSI, organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Pacsports, TaylorMade, Sharp and Champion.
, virtually bowed out of title race with a second 73 for a 146, falling behind by 13 strokes.
Rufino Bayron, who missed the cut at Wack Wack but came out strong here with a 67, rammed in three birdies against a bogey at the back yesterday then after a birdie-bogey start at the front, the former national standout birdied Nos. 3, 5 and 7 to find himself towing a talent-field.
That includes Mondilla, also seeking a big rebound after withdrawing from Abotiiz in the third round with a bad back, as the rising Del Monte star checked a rollercoaster backside stint of three birdies against two bogeys with two birdies in a solid frontside finish for a 33-35 card.
The 19-year-old Shin is also raring to atone for his backside meltdown although he will be up against Rufino Bayron and Mondilla in today’s featured threesome where the reed-thin Davao-based American will need more than superb shotmaking and putting to overhaul a four-stroke deficit.
Paez, Carlos and Jay Bayron will also need to shoot in the 60s and hope the three in front of them would waver to get a crack at the top P270,000 purse in this 12th leg of the country’s premier circuit.