Paolo Barro endured the tough backside test that bedeviled the rest, storming into the lead by five despite a 74 while Kayla Nocum used a sizzling frontside assault to fire a 69 and move past Junia Gabasa halfway through the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martires, Cavite yesterday.
Barro recovered from a three-bogey, one-birdie stint at the front with two birdies against the same number of bogeys in the last nine holes, his closing 36 proving to be the best in windy conditions as he moved from second to the top at 147 heading to the final 36 holes of the Albatross division (15-18) of the third leg of this year’s PLDT Group National Amateur Tour.
Sean Ramos fought back from a mediocre opening 77 with a frontside 35 but hobbled with four bogeys in a birdie-less backside windup of 40, settling for second at 152 after a 75 while Aidric Chan and Carl Corpus moved to joint third with 153s after a 75 (36-39) and 77 (40-37), respectively.
Paolo Wong, who showed up the field with a gutsy 72 Tuesday, failed to recover from a 39 start as he limped with a 42 for an 81, tumbling to Chan and Corpus’ group, now six strokes off the new leader in the 72-hole championship organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Josh Jorge also shot a 75 but lay nine strokes behind at 156 while the rest continued to sputter in tough conditions at one of the country’s toughest courses.
But Nocum tamed the frontside of the par-72 layout with three birdies then held sway with a birdie-bogey backside for a 69, grabbing a one-stroke lead at 146 in the girls’ side of the centerpiece division of the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific.