GABRIEL Manotoc padded his lead in the NGAP Philippine Junior Amateur Open golf championship to four shots on Friday after shooting an eagle-aided two-under-par 70 in the second round at Sherwood Hills in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Manotoc actually had an up-and-down round of four birdies and four bogeys but sealed his sub-par card with a driver-length putt for an eagle 3 on the par-5 15th for 142 to lead Rupert Zaragosa in the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation as part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
Zaragosa, the former junior World champion who was the odds-on pick at the start of the 72-hole event, matched par even as Korean expat Min Ung-park returned a 71 to be in third at 147 in the event backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot, Pacsports and Microtel Cavite as the official residence.
Manotoc, the youngest son of NGAP president and longtime amateur standout Tommy Manotoc, had a 34 coming out but dropped shots on 11, 13 and 16 only to hit a perfect 8-iron approach from 180 yards that stopped just four feet of the cup on No. 15.
Princess Superal assumed command in girls’ play, shooting a 71 for 145, now four strokes ahead of first-round leader Pauleen Del Rosario, who skied to a 76.
Sofia Chabon and Malaysia’s Nur Eliana Ariffin were tied at 151 after a 75 and 77, respectively, even as defending champion Pamela Mariano made the cut right on the dot, shooting an 82 for 160.
Justin Quiban, a veteran campaigner, also matched par and was at 148, with Malaysian bet Ervin Chang also shooting a 72 to be another stroke behind.
Zaragosa, who signed for a triple bogey 7 on the 18th in the opening round on Thursday, shot 36-36 and couldn’t gain ground on Manotoc, who is seeking the first big individual win of his career.
Raymart Tolentino, a qualifier for the Philippines in the coming World Championships in San Diego, couldn’t sustain his first-round effort, ballooning to an 80 to be 14 off from just four back at the start of the day.
Basti Lorenzo, a teammate of Manotoc at Beacon Academy, scored a second straight 75 to be eight behind heading into the final two rounds of the event that will also help the NGAP pick the members of the junior Putra Cup team.