MANILA, Philippines -- James Ryan Lam came charging home at the front to shoot a five-under 67 and force a tie with Carl Santos-Ocampo in a topsy-turvy second round of the ICTSI Ranchos Palos Verdes Classic at the Palos Verdes layout in Davao on Thursday.
Lam hit three birdies in the last nine holes at Palos Verdes’ frontnine to catch Santos-Ocampo, who salvaged a two-under 70 in a shaky finish in the morning batch, as they led Jun Bernis by one with six-under 138s heading to the final round of the P1 million event.
Bernis checked an impending skid with a birdie on the par-5 eighth as he saved a 69 for a 139 while three others, including Rufino Bayron, stood at 140, guaranteeing a shootout for the top P200,000 purse in the 54-hole tournament serving as the 12th leg of the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour.
Despite his bogey finish in another scorching day, Santos-Ocampo remains upbeat of his chances for a breakthrough victory in a young pro career.
“I realized from past experiences that in golf, the more you try to control the situation, the more it slips away. Tomorrow (Friday), I will patiently let it happen, stick to fairways and greens and not force anything,” said Santos-Ocampo, who blew a final round lead and yielded the ICTSI John Hay crown to Marvin Dumandan last April.
Bayron, whose opening 67 put him one stroke ahead of Santos-Ocampo, Zanie Boy Gialon and Miguel Ochoa Wednesday, looked headed for another explosive round when he made three straight birdies from the 12th for the second straight day.
But he fumbled with a bogey on the par-3 17th then dropped out of the lead with back-to-back double bogey mishaps from No. 1.
He did recover with birdies on Nos. 3 and 5 to move within one of Santos-Ocampo only to reel back again with a bogey on the par-5 eighth for a woeful 39 and a 73.
Other four-under par overall scorers were Randy Garalde, who fired a 71, and Gialon, who bucked two early bogeys with birdies to match par 72.
The other backers of the tournament, sponsored by ICTSI, are Empire Golf, Titleist, Footjoy, Callaway, TaylorMade, Mizuno, Srixon, Nike Golf, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Balls, Studio 23, Pinoygolfer.com and Inquirer Golf as media partners.