Record 59 lifts Santos-Ocampo to topBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
CARL Santos-Ocampo gunned down 10 birdies in a record-setting nine-under-par 59 yesterday to seize a two stroke lead over Marvin Dumandan going into the final round of the ICTSI Camp John Hay Championship in Baguio.
The sophomore pro, who finished 32nd in the money list in his first full season last year, turned in the best score in relation to par in the four-year-old circuit to also set the course record.
With a 123 aggregate, 13-under over the up-and-down course, Ocampo is knocking at the door of a maiden win, though he would have his hands full against Dumandan, the veteran who fired a 61 for 125.
Joenard Rates, the first round leader, faded with a 67 to be five shots behind, and in a course like John Hay, five shots could be made up in a flash.
“If I can play fearless like I’ve been the past two days, there’s nothing to worry about,” said Santos-Ocampo, who opened up with three straight birdies and closed his round in the same way.
The only blemish on his card came on the par 3 15th, where he missed the green and failed to rescue par even as rookie pro Clyde Mondilla also put himself in the mix with a 65 for 129.
Dumandan had a bogey-free round and put himself in position towards snapping a winless spell dating back to the latter part of 2010.
Ferdie Aunzo, the second placer at Splendido in Tagaytay last month who was tipped as the man to beat here, ballooned with a double bogey-marred 70 and bowed out of the fight with a 133.
Rookie Terrence Macatangay fired a 66 to be at 130, while Jessie Balasabas rebounded with a 63 to be at 132, now tied with Jun Bernis, who also had a 66.
The absence of the big guns of the tour has left just 11 men under par with the cut of the event, organized by the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., pegged at a high six-over 142.
Former Asian Game bronze medallist and pro-am winner Michael Bibat shot a 70 to miss the cut by one after opening up with a 73 on Wednesday.
The leading scores:
123–C. Santos-Ocampo 64-59; 125–M. Dumandan 64-61; 128–J. Rates 61-67;
129–C. Mondilla 64-65; 130–T. Macatangay 64-66; 132–J. Bernis 66-66, J. Balasabas 69-63; 133–F. Aunzo 63-70; 134–A. Fernando 67-67, R. Sinfuego 64-70; 135–J. Banares 71-64; 136–E. Saban 72-64, R. Abaring 69-67, I. Bisera 69-67, Z. Gialon 68-68.