Jobim Carlos takes one-stroke lead after one round of Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championship
Defending champion Jobim Carlos comes up with a fine start in a tough opening round.

JOBIM Carlos birdied No. 17 and submitted a one-over 73 for a one-stroke lead over Ira Alido after the first round of the Philippine Amateur Open Golf Championship on Tuesday at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in General Trias, Cavite.

Aidric Chan, Weiwei Gao and Luis Castro carded 75s to share third spot, while Koreans Jang Jun Ha and Lee Geon and local bets Carl Corpus and Gen Nagai shot 76s.

Rupert Zaragosa, Korea’s Jang Yu Bin and Singapore’s Jeryl Tan had 77s as strong winds at the Aoki layout made club selection tough.

“Given the wind condition, my game plan was to score an even par,” said Carlos, who struggled off the mound and hit just eight fairways while missing eight greens.

Harmie Constantino bucked a bogey start with three straight birdies from No. 4 but fumbled with three bogeys to also shoot a 73 for a one-stroke lead over Malaysia’s Nur Durriyah Damian and Yuka Saso in the women’s division.

Saso, who won the Thailand Juniors crown last month, recovered from a 40 start with two late birdies to match Damian’s 74.

Korea’s Hwang Min Jeong, winner on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last year, stayed in early contention despite a 75 in a tie with Jona Magcalayo and Felicia Medalla.

LK Go shot a 76, while Korea’s Lee Ji Hyeon and Genevieve Ling I-Rynn of Malaysia carded 77s.

“Aoki is always tournament-ready and the condition is tough year-in and year-out especially in the presence of the wind,” said Eagle Ridge general manager Raymund Bunquin.

Carlos, who beat Zaragosa by three also here last year, rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 4 to seize early control but hit an errant drive on the next for bogey, dumped his second shot on No. 6 into a hazard before flubbing an eight-footer for par on No. 13 to drop to two-over.

He recovered a bit on the par-3 17th, setting up a five-foot putt for birdie before making par on the last hole.

Alido was two shots clear after his first nine holes but stumbled with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 13 before dropping three strokes on the par-3 No. 16. He bounced back with birdies on the next two holes to stay in the hunt.

Jelbert Gamolo, one of the pre-tournament favorites, withdrew after nine holes due to shoulder injury.

The top 50 in the men’s side after 36 holes and the top 30 in the women’s side will advance to the final two rounds of the event serving as the kickoff leg of this year’s PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, PLDT and Metro Pacific Investment Corp.

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