Howie Sison and Jing Romero carded identical gross scores of 77s to share the lead in the Mid-Amateur division of the 2017 Riviera MVPSF Amateur Championship at Riviera Golf Club’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite yesterday.
With the centerpiece Elite Championship and the Ladies division taking a break, the mid-ams took the spotlight with Sison, a 7-handicapper, rallying with a closing 35 at the par-71 layout to tie Romero at six-over in the first round of the 36-hole championship hosted and co-sponsored by RGCI for the first time with the MVP Sports Foundation.
Japanese Takuya Kawamura, a 6-handicapper, actually took control at the front with a 38, one ahead of Romero, but faltered with a 42 to drop to third with an 80 while Romero, also with a 6-handicap, sputtered with a 38.
Jon Judan rallied with a 39 to turn in an 82 for fourth while Michael Mendoza stood a stroke back at 83 followed by Dennis Gonzales and Chester Calpotura, who shot identical 84s in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and serving as part of the PLDT Group’s National Amateur Golf Tour.
Former pro tour campaigner Eddie Bagtas, meanwhile, expectedly took charge in Seniors play, putting in a 73 despite a double-bogey on No. 18 for a three-stroke lead over Bobby Celestino, who made a 76.
Alan Alegre also stayed in the hunt with a 79 while Bobby Iñigo carded an 80 followed by Mar Rodelas (83), Edwin Abesamis (85) and Olivo Ramos (85).
Meanwhile, Luis Castro and Sophia Legaspi set out for the crown in their respective sides with the former regaining a four-shot lead over Tom Kim of Korea after two rounds of play in the Elite division last Friday.
Castro pooled a 141 after a 72 while Kim struggled with a 74 for a 145 heading to today’s final round. Aidric Chan, winner of the recent NGAP Northern Luzon Regionals at Beverly Place in Pampanga, stood too far behind at third with 148 after a 71.
Sean Ramos limped with a 77 for fourth at 152 while Don Petil carded a 75 for fifth at 153 followed by GJ Katigbak (78-159), Carl Corpus (79-159), Paolo Wong (79-160), Jacob Rolida (83-161) and Korean Back Seung Hyeon (80-162).
Legaspi also took a three-shot lead over Kayla Nocum in Ladies category with a 154 after an 81 with the latter also shooting an 81 for a 157 heading to the last 18 holes.
Isabela Miravite made an 82 for third at 162 while Korean Kang Da Yun shot an 84 for a 164 followed by Kristine Torralba (80-166), Kim Hui Won (81-166), Isabela Tee (88-169), Jang Yun Ji (87-172), Marianne Bustos (92-179) and Kim Seo Young (87-185).