DASMARIÑAS, Cavite—Antonio Lascuña sizzled on the front nine of the Palmer course yesterday to fire a six-under-par 66 and catch Carl Santos-Ocampo at the top after two rounds of the ICTSI Orchard Championship.
Lascuña, last year’s Order of Merit winner, shot five birdies on his opening nine holes, including the final three, and went on to post a 36-hole total of 136 like Santos-Ocampo.
Mars Pucay, the joint leader after Day 1, floundered with a 74.
Santos-Ocampo needed a birdie again on the 16th to finish with a second straight 68 and stay level with Lascuña, who is looking to win back-to-back titles after ruling the Calatagan stop in Batangas two weeks ago.
Michael Bibat, the former Asian Games bronze medalist, also had a front-side 31 but settled for a 67, lifting him to solo third, just two shots behind the joint leaders and one ahead of the steady Angelo Que.
Bibat was actually nursing a seven-under card after 13 holes but dropped a shot on the 14th and then signed for a double bogey 6 on the 17th. He rescued his 67 with an easy birdie on the par-5 18th.
Que, making his first Tour appearance this season, fired a 70 for 139 with Miguel Tabuena leading a three-man group at 140 after a 69.
Pucay is now in the group that has Jay Bayron, Chris delos Santos and Japan’s Toru Nakajima at 142, six strokes off the pace.
Bayron and Delos Santos, who was just a shot off the lead overnight, fired 73s, while Nakajima recorded a 70.
“The key, I think, has been the drive,” Lascuña said in Filipino. “In a course like this, you need to hit good drives to be on the fairways, and you get your birdie chances.”
The fancied Juvic Pagunsan fired a 71 to be at 145 like Jun Bernis and five others, even as the cut was pegged at a high 15.
Among the casualties were Jonel Ababa and Orlan Sumcad who carded a 74 and a 76, respectively, for 152s.
Tabuena also had three straight birdies from No. 7 but went level on his last nine holes to be four shots behind like Richard Sinfuego and japanese Tomo Yoshinaga who hit identical 71s.
The event is being 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.