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Bayron is clubhouse leader

TAGAYTAY – Rufino Bayron hobbled at the finish and barely grabbed the clubhouse lead with a 68 as Tony Lascuña faltered with a 73 in windy condition at Taal Splendido in the second round of the $100,000 ICTSI Splendido Classic here.

Bayron bogeyed two of the last four holes in a shocking meltdown for a player who impressed the elite field with his awesome shotmaking and superb iron game that netted him a bogey-free 69 Thursday and a six-birdie feat after 14 holes that shoved him past Lascuña on the leaderboard yesterday.

But Bayron succumbed to pressure when the going got tough in the closing holes as he stumbled to his first bogey on No. 15 then dropped another shot on the closing hole.

Still, his seven-under 137 kept him on top of the heap as Lascuña slid to second at 138 with a 73 after a 65 while Jhonnel Ababa also moved into contention with at 139 after a gutsy bogey-less 68 in scorching heat.

Clyde Mondilla also wavered despite hitting an eagle on No. 2 as he staggered with four bogeys with only a birdie to show in a wind-blown 73 at the challenging mountaintop course. He pooled a 141 and stood four behind in the company of Jerson Balasabas, Rico Depilo, Nelson Huerva and Macedonian Peter Stojanovski.

Balasabas birdied three of the first 10 holes at the back and added two more on Nos. 4 and 5 but dropped a stroke on the sixth fro a 35-33 card; Depilo hit six birdies to negate a double-bogey and two bogeys; Huerva fought back from a 74 start with six birdies after 16 holes but fumbled with a bogey on the 17th; while Stojanovski birdied two of the last three holes to stay in contention.

But nearly half of the starting 99-player field were still on the fairway, each eager to shoot low scores and make the 50-plus tie to vie for the top $17,500 purse.

They include American Micah Shin, at five-under with seven holes to play, John Michael O’Toole, also of the US, who was at four-under after 12 holes, Elmer Salvador, at four-under with three holes left, and Thai Pasavee Lertvelai who had a two-under card with three holes to play.

The projected cut-off score is at four-over (148) with Mhark Fernando (75-149), Korean Hywang Myung Chal (75-149), Singaporean Dengshan Koh (74-149), and Dutch Guido Van der Valk (74-149) hoping to still make it to the weekend play.

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