RYAN Monsalve and Lanz Uy hit nine birdies in the opening four-balls for a 59 and a two-stroke lead on Wednesday in the National Doubles Amateur Golf Championship at Camp Aguinaldo Golf Club in Quezon City.
Tied with three other pairs after nine holes, Monsalve and Uy hit five birdies on the back-nine of the par-68 layout, capping their romp with back-to-back birdies.
Play shifts to aggregate on Thursday followed by foursome in the final round.
“We played pressure-free throughout. It’s been smooth and quite easy since even if one gets into trouble, the other will step up and save the hole, We just enjoyed it,” said Monsalve, whose partnership with Uy netted them the Group I title in last year’s staging of the season-ending tournament organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation.
Paolo Wong and Don Petil led with three straight birdies to start the back nine but slowed down and missed a couple of birdie chances, settling for a seven-under 61.
Lester Lagman and Gab Manotoc were third with a 62 in the premier division.
Many-time national champion Rupert Zaragosa and Adrian Romero carded a 64.
Carlo Gatmaytan and Rocky Brobio pooled a 65 for fifth while the pairs of Sean Ramos-Jed Dy, Dan Cruz-Luigi Guerrero, Aniceto Mandanas-Carlo Quimson and Clare Legaspi-Felicia Medalla each shot 66s and stood seven shots behind in the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour event.
Siblings Aldo and Paqo Barro made a 67 while the Annika Guangko-David Guangko, Kristine Torralba-Matthew Abalos and Eddie Bagtas-Leandro Bagtas tandems turned in 68s.
Pierre Ticzon and Allan Crisostomo assembled a 70 to open a two-shot lead over Rald Sarmiento and Masaichi Otake in Group II play with Santino Diokno and Miguel Roque five strokes behind.