Rupert Zaragosa gains top seeding in Philippine Amateur Open Match Play
Rupert Zaragosa fires a 69 after an opening 73. 

RUPERT Zaragosa claimed the top seeding in the Philippine Amateur Open Match Play Golf Championship after finishing the 36-hole stroke play eliminations with a solid three-under 69 on Tuesday at the Orchard Golf and Country Club in Dasmariñas, Cavite.

Zaragosa, runner-up to Noel Langamin in last year’s finals, had a 142 aggregate, one ahead of Jolo Magcalayo, who shot a 72 after a 71.

Luis Castro was third at 145 after a 72 while Langamin rebounded from a 78 with a 70 to take the No. 4 spot.

Jonas Magcalayo and Carlo Villaroman taking the next two spots with 152s after a 76 and 77, respectively.

Aniceto Mandanas and Kristoffer Arevalo wound up with 153s after identical 80s.

In women’s play, Yuka Saso took the top seeding with a second straight 74.

Erstwhile co-leader Harmie Constantino slid to No. 2 at 149 after a 75.

Sophia Blanco gained No. 3 with a 158 after an 80 while Kayla Nocum and Korean Kim Hui Won finished with 159s after identical 79s.

Zaragosa takes on No. 32 Alexi Garzon at the start of the knockout phase of the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.

Magcalayo drew Korean Won Yong Hwi, Castro squares off with Peter Asinas, while Langamin battles Tommy Jeong.

Saso, gunning for a second crown in as many weeks after a record 13-stroke romp in the Philippine Junior Amateur at Sherwood, drew an opening-round bye along with Constantino, Blanco and Nocum in the tournament backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investment.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph