AR Ramos and Miggy Yee came charging home to fire a three-under 69 and force a tie with former national champion Rupert Zaragosa and JP De Claro at the start of the Meralco National Doubles Amateur (Closed) Championship at Wack Wack’s West Course Wednesday.
Ramos and Yee hit four birdies at the back, including three straight from No. 13, against two bogeys as they closed out with a 34 to catch the Zaragosa-De Claro tandem at the helm after the two-ball (foursome) format.
Zaragosa and De Claro took charge early with an eagle-spiked 33, but settled for a 36 at the back, enabling Ramos and Yee to gain a piece of the lead in the event sponsored by Meralco and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Phils.
National team mainstay Jobim Carlos, winner of this event with Raymond Gonzales last year, stayed right behind the joint leaders with a 71, teaming up with new partner Jonar Austria for five birdies and four birdies in the alternate shot format.
The Carlos-Austria tandem trail by two in the three-day ranking tournament serving as the final leg of the Globe Business Amateur Circuit.
John Kier Abdon and Chris Jordan carded a two-over 74 marred by a 38 start and stood five shots off the leaders heading to today’s second round where play shifts to four-ball (best ball), with the final round to be played under the aggregate format.
Justin Quiban and RJ Talud recovered from a poor start of 40 with a 36 to salvage a 76 and tie top jungolfer Gabriel Manotoc and Gonzales at fifth, while Lawrence Celestino, winner of the recent Philex NGAP Northern Luzon tilt, and partner Kenneth Kano, struggled with a 79 and fell behind by 10.
Mia Legaspi, one of the country’s top jungolfers, teamed up with Felicia Medalla to shoot a 75 and likewise tie Sam Martirez and Marvi Monsalve in the lead in the ladies side of the tournament sponsored by Pancake House, Titleist by Empire Golf, Pacsports and Golf Depot.
The two pairs posted a whopping seven-stroke lead over Bianca Pagdanganan and Dana Gonzales, who groped for form with an 82, the same output made by pre-tournament favorites Princess Superal and Daniella Uy.
Paolo Uy and Patrick Uy combined for a 76 to post a one-shot lead over Kristoffer Arevalo and Raymart Tolentino in Group II of the event also serving as tune-up for next year’s Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championships slated Jan, 7-10, also at Wack Wack.
Zaragosa and De Claro looked headed for an explosive start after turning in a 33 as they bucked a bogey start with two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 seventh, but settled for two birdies against the same number of bogeys at the back.
Two down at the turn, Ramos and Yee drew level with a birdie on the 10th, which the Zaragosa-De Claro pair bogeyed. They yielded the lead back with a bogey on the 12th but went on a birdie-spree on the next three holes to tie for lead.