MIGUEL Tabuena came up with another bogey-free round and grabbed a share of the top spot with overnight leader Rufino Bayron on Thursday in the second round of the P2.5 million ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship in Baguio City.
The 18-year-old Tabuena shot a six-under 62 to join Bayron, who fired a 63, atop the standings after 54 holes at 13-under 123.
Seven flights were yet to complete play when play was suspended due to lightning.
Tabuena hit two birdies on the front nine and came up with four birdies on the back to claim a spot on top.
“I just stuck to my game plan – be patient,” said Tabuena, who is eyeing back-to-back titles after winning the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour season opener at Sherwood Hills in Cavite.
“It’s a matter of hitting the greens right since they are slow and hard,” added Tabuena, who fired a bogey-free 61 Wednesday.
Bayron hit a spectacular 4-iron second shot from 250 yards that rolled to within a foot for eagle on the par-5 17th to stay in the lead in the 72-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“I really went for the green on No. 17 nearly made an albatross,” said Bayron, chasing his first pro title although he had won one Tour event when he was still an amateur five years ago.
“Magandang laban ito,” said Bayron, who will play with Tabuena in the third round.
Joining them in Friday’s final threesome is Michael Bibat, who is out to snap a four-year title drought in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Bibat eagled the 17th from 40 feet to turn in the day’s best score of seven-under 61 after an opening 63 for a 124 total.
“It’s better not to come up with expectations, so there is less pressure. That also keeps my focus on the game,” said Bibat, whose best finish in a four-year pro career was second in the Malaysian leg of the Asean PGA Tour in 2008.
Clyde Mondilla, one of those stranded, hopes to break into the top three with a three-under card and a running 10-under total with six holes left to play.
Tony Lascuna bucked a back injury and carded a second straight 64 to join Jhonnel Ababa, who settled for a 67 after a 61.
Five players stood at seven-under 129, including Zanie Boy Gialon (62), Rolando Marabe (65) and last year’s champion Marvin Dumandan (65) with Jay Bayron and Carl Santos-Ocampo also at seven-under overall with three holes to play.
Thirty six players have so far broken par, six more than in the first round, with 21 more still to complete play at presstime although playing conditions are expected to get tougher in the final two days with soggy fairways and testy pin placements the event sponsored by ICTSI, backed by Nike Golf, Empire Golf and Sports Shop, Mizuno, Titleist, Srixon, Foot Joy, Callaway, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Cleveland Golf and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.