Bayron seizes 7-shot lead | Inquirer Sports
SIZZLING 65

Bayron seizes 7-shot lead

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:33 AM March 22, 2014

TAGAYTAY—Rufino Bayron has never knocked on the door of a first victory harder than he is doing now.

Winless in six years as a pro, Bayron Friday churned out one of the best rounds of his career, gunning down eight birdies in a seven-under-par 65 to take a commanding seven-shot lead going into the final 18 holes of the ICTSI Splendido Classic here.

Only a three-putt bogey on the par-3 17th prevented the former caddy from Apo Golf in Davao from rewriting the course record, but his 13-under 213 over the ravine-filled layout is threatening to sink everyone in his wake.

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Antonio Lascuña, the two-time Order of Merit champion, and Elmer Salvador, who had a five-shot lead on Bayron at the start of the day, returned a 70 and 77, respectively, for 210s with Rey Pagunsan lying another shot behind after a 68.

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Rufino, whose older brother Jay has been the most successful among the Bayron siblings, finished second to Frankie Miñoza in the rich The Country Club Invitational two years ago but has never taken a lead this big into the final round.

“I just need to start well tomorrow, play a good round,” said Bayron, a product of the defunct National Caddies Open program.

Bayron, who went on to play for the Philippine team, already has a victory in the circuit, which came when he was still an amateur during the Valley leg in 2008.

His brother Jay was at 212 after a 68, catching Miñoza, the ageless wonder who churned out a 71. They were another stroke ahead of the reedy Benjie Magada, who assembled a 68 in wet conditions caused by a morning downpour.

While Bayron’s surge was the day’s main story, Salvador’s meltdown was its biggest sidelight as the former Philippine Open champion signed for a horrid 41 at the back after a triple bogey 8 on the 18th.

“Nothing went well for me today,” said the 43-year-old Salvador.

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“The only chance that we have is if he (Bayron) collapses (in the final day),” said Lascuña.

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Swede Malcom Kokocinski stood as the field’s best-place foreigner, tied at 215 with Clyde Mondilla (75), former PH Open winner Robert Pactolerin (70) and two others.

TAGS: Antonio Lascuna, Elmer Salvador, Golf, ictsi splendido, Rey Pagunsan, Rufino Bayron, Sports

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