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Sumcad gains lead with 66

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GEN. TRIAS, Cavite – Orlan Sumcad found the tough condition to his liking and turned in one of his best rounds in years – a bogey-free six-under 66 that shoved him past fancied Tony Lascuña and Zanieboy Gialon halfway through the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational at the Aoki layout here yesterday.

The long-hitting Sumcad strung up a pair of back-to-back birdie feats at the back of the rain-softened par-72 layout where he teed off then came out of the hour-long delay due to threat of lightning with two birdies in the last five holes for an impressive 34-32 card he spiked with two scrambling pars.

“The key to this kind of condition is to keep the ball in play on the fairway. That gave me some advantage,” said Sumcad, who overhauled a three-stroke deficit to wrest a one-stroke lead and move 36 holes away from finally nailing the elusive crown on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour with a nine-under 135 total.

But it will take a lot of effort for Sumcad, 42, to realize a dream title run as Lascuña and Gialon stood just a stroke behind with a pair of 70s for 136s and hot Clyde Mondilla stayed on course for a third straight leg victory at 138, also after a 70.

Although Jhonnel Ababa, Japanese Ryoma Miki and Marvin Dumandan lay four strokes behind at 139 after a 68, 69 and 72, respectively, and Elmer Salvador (68), Mars Pucay (70), Justin Quiban (70) and Joenard Rates (71) were six shots behind at 141, they all remained in the hunt for the top P360,000 purse with two rounds left in the P2 million championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

Despite dropping off the lead, Lascuña liked where he stood with the former three-time Order of Merit winner confident of his chances for a second victory after romping off with the Luisita Championship crown last April.