TRECE Martirez, Cavite – Raymart Tolentino, bucking a triple bogey 7 on the ninth hole, salvaged a one-over-par 73 on Tuesday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Philippine Junior Amateur championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation.
The 16-year-old, who finished inside the top 40 of the centerpiece 15-17 division of the Callaway Junior World Championships in San Diego last year, rebounded with two of his three birdies in the back nine at windswept Sherwood Hills to pace obscure Joseph Orbito by a stroke.
The fancied Rupert Zaragosa and Kristopher Arevalo struggled on a humid day, shooting a 77 and a 79, respectively, with defending champion Park Min Ung of Korea firing a 76 to be within three shots of Tolentino.
“I had just one bad hole all day, the ninth,” Tolentino, a protégé of former two-time 15-17 world champion Carito Villaroman, said. “Overall, it was a good round, save for that hole.”
Working on a level card going into the ninth, Tolentino hooked his tee shot so bad it found the water hazard on the left side of the fairway. He then teed it up again, only to miss the green on his approach and failing to sign for a six with a routine two-putt.
In girls’ play of the event forming part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour and backed by Pancake House, Golf Depot and Pacsports, the in-form Daniella Uy took a one-shot lead over Samantha Bruce and Harmie Constantino after shooting a 74.
Bianca Pagdanganan fired a 76 and Sam Martinez a 77 as this division remained as tight as predicted with Felicia Medalla and Abegail Arevalo shooting 78s to be just four strokes behind.
Diego San Pedro and Ramir Roque joined Park, with Gabriel Manotoc also shooting a 77 like Zaragosa, the champion here two years ago.
Gen Nagai, the Japanese who helped Cebu Country Club win the PAL Interclub two straight years from 2012, was another big name that was brought to his knees by the challenging layout, shooting an 80 like Indon Naraadjie Ramadanputra.
Zaragosa made the turn at level 36 before closing out with four straight bogeys for a 41, while Arevalo, who won the 13-14 division of the Callaway Junior World last year, was off target the whole day with nines of 39 and 40.