TRECE Martirez, Cavite – Team Philippines got a three-under-par 69 from Jonathan delos Reyes and two sub-par cards from Rico Hoey and Jobim Carlos to zoom to a nine-shot lead over Malaysia after 36 holes of the 53rd Putra Cup at Sherwood Hills here Friday.
Together with their 213 on opening day, the Filipinos tallied 423 after a six-under 210 with Hoey bouncing back from a disastrous opening day by shooting a 70 and Carlos signing for a birdie on the 18th for a 71.
“We’re looking good,” non-playing skipper Carito Villaroman said. “Our game plan remains the same (for the last two days) and that is to play as if we’re starting from scratch. We’re not even thinking that we’re leading this tournament.”
Gavin Green returned a 68 and propelled the Malaysians to second overall with a second round 214 for 432, while Singapore, which started the day tied with the Filipinos for the lead, dropped to third after a frosty 222.
Defending champion Thailand didn’t have anyone cracking par, submitting a 221 built around the 72 of Danthai Boonma, to be 15 strokes off the pace at 437 and needing a big third round to get back in the mix.
“We’ve really prepared for this tournament,” Delos Reyes, who had an eagle for the second straight day when he chipped in from the fringe on the par-5 eighth, said. “I think the key would be to stay within our plans and we’ll be all right.”
Hoey, the 17-year-old who carded a 75 on opening day like Rupert Zaragosa, had an eagle, two birdies and two bogeys to come up with the great back up that Delos Reyes needed.
“That’s good news,” Hoey said when informed the Philippines had a formidable lead.
The 72-hole championship is being backed by the Royal & Ancient of Scotland, MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT Amateur Golf Tour, PSC, POC, Philippine Golf Foundation, DOT, Pancake House, Asia Brewery, Turf Company, Sligo, Ping, Intramachineries Doosan, Suntrust, Crimson Hotel and Golf Depot.
The Philippines last won the Putra Cup in 1996 in Myanmar and recruited heavily to make sure it had a legitimate shot to win while hosting the event for the first time in seven years.
The he Philippine Kartini Cup (Junior Women’s) team stayed within a shot of Thailand, pooling a similar 148 like the Thais with Princess Superal shooting a 73 and one of Bianca Pagdanganan and Pauline Del Rosario’s 75 counting for 292.
Budsabakorn Sukapan assembled a 73 and Parinda Phokan fired a 75 for the Thais.
Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia tied for the lead in the Santi Cup (Women’s) with the Philippines lurking two shots behind at 298 after getting a 76 from Regina De Guzman and a 72 from Katrina Briones for 148.