TRECE Martirez, Cavite – Rupert Zaragosa used a hot stretch in the middle of the back nine on Friday to peel away from a chasing pack, taking a three-shot lead in the Philippine Amateur Closed championship after a second-round three-under-par 69 at Sherwood Hills.
Zaragosa, the 15-year-old wonder kid from Canlubang, went birdie-birdie-eagle from No. 13 and kept his Putra Cup teammates at bay with a 36-hole 140 for a three-shot lead over Filipino-American Rico Hoey in the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation as part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
Hoey, the incoming University of Southern California freshman, was under the weather all round but still managed a 71 to be in solo second place after Jonathan Delos Reyes, who shared the overnight lead with Zaragosa, skied to a 77 for 148.
Jobim Carlos also made a move in the event backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot and Pacsports, shooting a 70 to climb to a tie with Delos Reyes as the four mainstays of the PH Team to Southeast Asia’s official golf championship occupied the first four places.
“Nothing is certain,” Zaragosa said when asked if he could smell victory this early. “There are a lot of talented players chasing me. I will just try to play my game for the next two rounds and see what happens.”
Lloyd Jefferson Go, the Cebu Country Club standout in the PAL Interclub, fired a 73 and was actually in the company of Carlos and Delos Reyes even as Justin Quiban and lefty Andres Saldana stood another stroke back after assembling a 74 and 76, respectively.
Regina De Guzman, the spearhead of the women’s Putra Cup squad, returned a 71 and caught Bianca Pagdanganan on top at 149 after Pagdanganan shot a 75.
Simone Hoey, Rico’s elder sister who is also donning the PH colors in two weeks, submitted a 72 and put herself in the mix with a 151 with Chanelle Avaricio shooting a 74 to be at 150.
Sophia Chabon was also at 151 after a 76, with Pauleen Del Rosario shooting a 77 to be just four strokes off the pace.