Rolly Viray starts strong, grabs lead

LIPA CITY, Philippines — Former national amateur champion Rolly Viray used a strong start to seize command then bucked a wobbly finish to keep a three-stroke lead over Abe Avena with a 75 in the second round of the Philippine Senior and Mid-Amateur Open Championships at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Batangas here yesterday.

Viray unleashed a bogey-free frontside 35 spiked by a birdie on No. 6 to turn a two-stroke deficit into a two-shot lead as Avena fumbled with a 39 and the former matched the latter’s three bogeys in the last four holes to stay on top at 151 heading to the final 18 holes of the centerpiece Senior Open tournament sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation.

Avena, winner here in 2016, actually held sway with three pars in the first three holes but reeled back with three straight bogeys and dropped another stroke on the ninth of Mt. Malipunyo. He never recovered at the tough Mt. Lobo nine and limped with an 80 for a 154.

Damasus Wong carded a second 79 and stayed at third at 158 while Tommy Manotoc also shot another 81 to move to fourth at 162 in the tournament held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.