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Mondilla rides wind

DASMARINAS, Cavite – Clyde Mondilla battled through early windy play and saved a 71 then watched his rivals flounder in windier condition in the afternoon to seize a one-stroke lead over Zanieboy Gialon and two other local aces midway through the $60,000 ICTSI Orchard Golf Championship at the Orchard’s Player course here yesterday.

Charging home with an eagle-aided 68 in one of the late flights Wednesday to force a four-way tie for the lead with Frankie Miñoza, Ira Alido and American John Catlin, Mondilla rebounded from two early bogeys at the back with four birdies against one more bogey on No. 5 for a 35-36 card that proved enough to shove him on top at five-under 139.

Miñoza, Alido and Catlin failed to match that output with over-par rounds in exacting condition but the diminutive Gialon bucked tough pin placements and put in a steady second 70 and loomed large at 140 heading to the final 36 holes of the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Elmer Salvador and Jay Bayron, two veterans so familiar with this kind of condition, also moved into contention with late charge with the former, who reigned at the windy Splendido Classic last year, birdying three of the last nine holes at the front to tie Gialon at second with another 70.

Bayron, back-to-back winner in Aboitiz Invitational at Wack Wack and at the wind-swept Riviera Classic last year, also came through with three birdies in the last 10 holes to fire a 69 and force a three-way tie at second.

American William Cannon bogeyed the par-5 18th and settled for a 72 for solo fifth 142.