TRECE Martirez, Cavite – Team Philippines widened its lead to 14 strokes over Singapore in the 53rd Putra Cup golf championships on Saturday after pooling an eight-under 208 built around the five-under-par 67 of Rico Hoey in the third round at Sherwood Hills.
Hoey gunned down six birdies against a missed green bogey on No. 6, leading the Filipinos to the highest day total thus far in the 72-hole championship for a 631 as Singapore tallied 210 after also having all of its three scorers cracking par.
Jobim Carlos, the MVP Sports Foundation scholar at the University of San Francisco, returned a 70, and Jonathan Delos Reyes cooled down somewhat with a 71 as the Filipinos – efficient for the second straight day – threw away a respectable 73 from reigning national champion Rupert Zaragosa.
Jerome Ng, the veteran, returned a 69, Jon Woo had a 70 and Nicklaus Chiam assembled a 71 for the Singaporeans, the 2011 champions in Hong Kong who discarded the 73 of Marc Ong.
Malaysia dropped to third spot another three shots back as Gavin Green, who fired a 68, again didn’t get the support he needed.
Abel Tam did shoot a 69, but the Malaysians had to count the 79 of Albright Chong as their fourth man, Khai Jei Low, fared even worse, returning a lethargic 83 for an even 216 for the third round.
“I had a special day again,” the 17-year-old Hoey, born to Filipino parents in Manila, said. “We’re in great shape. The team is playing really well and I am hoping that it would be a special day for all of us tomorrow.”
The Philippines has not won this tournament – regarded as the official team golf championship in Southeast Asia – since triumphing in Myanmar in 1996.
Thailand, the defending champion, all but bowed out of it all after a 216, 18 shots behind the pace-setting Filipinos. Chanachok Dejpiratanamong fired a 69 and Danthai Boonma matched par. The Thais counted the 75 of Itthipat Burunatanyarat as their third score after world-ranked Poom Saksansin ballooned to a 76.
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 individual race got very interesting with Green outscoring Delos Reyes for the second straight round.
The two power-hitters are now tied for the lead at 206, with Hoey climbing to third six shots behind.
Team Philippines also stayed on course by climbing into a tie with Thailand in the inaugural Kartini Cup (Junior Women’s) after shooting a third-round 139 on the strength of Princess Superal’s 69 and the 70 of Pauline Del Rosario for 431.
Budsabakorn Sukapan churned out a 68 and either of Parinda Phokan or Sherman Santiwiwatthanapphong’s 74 counted for Thailand’s 142 as both teams moved 16 shots ahead of third-running Indonesia.