JELBERT Gamolo birdied three of the last seven holes for a three-under 69 and a one-stroke lead over Jobim Carlos and Luis Castro at the start of the 15th Canlubang Amateur Open on Wednesday at Cangolf’s South course in Laguna.
Gamolo, out to atone for his final round meltdown last year, rallied from two shots down at the front with birdies on Nos. 11 and 15 and got past Carlos and Castro with a closing birdie.
Carlos, who has opted to keep his amateur status despite topping the pro circuit’s qualifying school early this year, had a 34 after nine holes to match Castro.
But the two failed to match Gamolo’s fiery windup and dropped to joint second with 70s.
Riviera’s Ira Alido strung up two 36s to take solo fourth at 72.
Back-to-back champion Park Min Ung, also of Riviera, hit an eagle on No. 11 to salvage a 73 and tie Southwoods’s Yuto Katsuragawa in the Open division, a 54-hole battle.
Royal Northwoods’ Carlos Gatmaytan and Jun John of Riviera turned in identical 76s, while Eastridge’s GJ Katigbak and John Uy of Valley Golf carded similar 77s.
The chase of the ladies division crown begins on Thursday with Pauline del Rosario going for a second straight title, while looking to topple her are including Yuka Saso, Kayla Nocum, Lois Kaye Go, Sam Bruce and Annika Cedo.
Other titles to be disputed over 36 holes are the Classes A (11-and-below), B (12-18) and C (19-and-above).
Gamolo birdied No. 3 but dropped two strokes on the par-4 No. 5 before birdying No. 7.
Carlos strung up four straight birdies from No. 4 against bogeys on Nos. 1 and 8.