TRECE Martirez, Cavite – With Sherwood Hills proving a tough nut to crack, Rupert Zaragosa’s two-over-par 74 still proved enough to give him a three-shot lead over Gabriel Manotoc halfway through the NGAP’s Philippine Junior Amateur Closed Championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation.
The pint-sized Zaragosa proved steadiest on a truly trying day, playing his first 11 holes at even before dropping his first shot on the 12th and closing out with a missed green bogey for a 146 aggregate in the event forming part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour and backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot, Pacsports and Microtel.
Manotoc, the up-and-coming 15-year-old, opened with a bogey and closed with another, draining just two birdies against five bogeys and an uncharacteristic double bogey 6 on No. 9 for 149, just a stroke up on Del Monte’s Jelbert Gamolo, who shot a 74.
Princess Superal, meanwhile, assumed command in girls’ play after shooting a 67 for 142, now five shots clear of Daniela Uy, who struggled with a 73, and another stroke ahead of Pauleen Del Rosario, who shot a 74.
Uy, Del Rosario and Chanelle Avaricio started the day tied for the lead and one-up on Superal, who peeled away from the pack with four birdies in the front nine, which she toured in 32, before picking up another shot on the par-3 16th to complete a bogey-free round.
Avaricio dropped nine strokes off the pace after ballooning to a 77, with Bianca Pagdanganan and Samantha Martinez tied at 153 after pooling identical 78s.
Regan De Guzman, who will play for the Philippines in the Putra Cup later this month, caught Cyna Rodriguez at the top of the girls’ special 17-21 division after shooting a 70 for 144. Rodriguez shot a 69 on Thursday and yesterday returned a 75.