MANILA - Jobim Carlos and Singapore’s Gregory Foo wavered coming home and settled for a pair of 70s while Clyde Mondilla birdied No. 8 on his way home to force a three-way tie for the lead at the start of the Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championship at Cangolf’s north course in Laguna yesterday.
Carlos, chasing a second straight crown after topping the NGAP National Doubles last week, nearly blew a four-under card with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 for a 34-36 while Foo, the reigning Singapore junior champion, missed seizing the solo lead with a final-hole bogey for a pair of 35s as the fancied bets lived up to the hype and took charge of the star-studded field in the 72-hole championship.
Mondilla eagled the par-5 17th and went three-under with a birdie on No. 1. But the former national champion failed to sustain his charge and dropped strokes on Nos. 4 and 5, needing to birdie the par-4 No. 8 to put himself in early contention in the event.
The troika took a one-shot lead over Del Monte’s Leonard Lofranco, who strung up rounds of 36-35 while Andres Saldana matched par 72 for a share of fifth with Choi Jae Seung of Riviera and Lawrence Celestino of Eastridge.
A stroke farther back at 73 were Keanu Jahns, Miko Alejandro, Aristeo Mata, Gio Gandionco, Yoon Ji Woong and Singapore’s Jerome Ng, who birdied two of the last five holes to salvage a one-over par card.
Gabriel Manotoc and Phil Kyu Cho had a pair of 74s and AR Ramos turned in a 75 but reigning national champion Rupert Zaragosa lost his touch at the back after an opening 36, closing out with a 43, marred by a triple-bogey 7 on the final hole for a 79.
Lovelynn Guioguio also almost squandered a four-stroke lead with a double bogey on No. 17, settling for an even par 72 and a two-stroke margin over ICTSI teammate Dottie Ardina in the ladies' side of the tournament.
Guioguio, who rallied from behind to beat Ardina and capture the Samsung Amateur Open crown last year, made back-to-back birdies from No. 2 to set her bid in motion.
She stumbled with a bogey on No. 6 but birdied Nos. 9 and 11 to go three-under.
But the reigning DHL Amateur and Sarawak Am Open champion failed to return a par from six feet on No. 12 before dropping two strokes on the par-5 17th for that 72.
Ardina, who beat the top players in the Asia-Pacific region to win the Queen Sirikit Cup individual crown I India last year, failed to keep pace with bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 for a 74.
Defending champion Andie Unson stood three shots behind with a 75 in a tie with Princess Superal and Sarah Ababa while Sunshine Baraquiel carded a 76 and Hong Kong Amateur Open champion Jayvie Agojo made a 78 in a tie with Apple Fudolin.
The foreign bets floundered with Malaysian Vivienne Chin shooting an 80, Singapore’s Koh Sock Hwee fumbling with an 82 and fancied Amelia Yong, the Singapore Am titlist, groping with an 88 in the 54-hole tournament.*PNA
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