ORLAN Sumcad bucked tough pin placements to fire a three-under-par 69 and catch Jobim Carlos at the top going to the final round of the P3 million ICTSI Villamor Philippine Masters on Friday.
Sumcad, who dropped off a share of the lead after an atrocious 76 on Thursday, came through with back-to-back birdies from No. 16 to cap a 33-36 card for a four-under 212, which Carlos later matched with a closing birdie for a 74.
Jerson Balasabas and Joenard Rates stayed right behind at 213 despite going over par after a 74 and a 75, respectively. Nilo Salahog (70) and Gerald Rosales (73) assembled identical 214s to set the stage for thrilling finish in the fabled event.
“I really had a good read of the greens where the pins were placed on tough spots and that helped me a lot,” said Sumcad, who is still looking for a breakthrough win in a long pro career. “Also my approach shots were on target the whole day.”
After missing the green on the first hole for bogey, the power-hitting Summit Point pro strung up three straight birdies, including a chip-in from 10 yards on No. 3. He dropped another shot on the fifth but birdied Nos. 7 and 8 from close range to make the turn at 33.
Carlos is also aiming for a first title in a young pro career although the former national champion has won the National pro-am recently in a victory that boosted his confidence coming into this blue-ribbon event.
“I am hitting well actually but I didn’t the needed breaks in some holes,” said Carlos, who failed to sustain his run of under par cards (67-71) with a bogey-marred 37-37 in tough condition.
Balasabas hit just one birdie against a bogey and a double bogey, while the unheralded Salahog shot the second of only seven under par cards in the day spiked by three birdies against a bogey. Rates and Rosales are also aiming to nail their first win since winning in Baguio and Wack Wack.
At least four other players remain in contention with Tony Lascuña and Dutch Guido Van der Valk at 215s after a 70 and 72, respectively, Albin Engino at 216 after a second 74 and Jhonnel Ababa at 217 after a 75.