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Ira Alido and Paolo Wong stumbled at the finish to mar an otherwise solid start, carding a six-under 62 under the four-ball format to wrest a two-stroke lead over three other pairs in the sixth NGAP National Doubles Amateur Golf Championship at Camp Aguinaldo Golf Club in QC yesterday.
Alido and Wong sizzled early in the best-ball, birdying the first two par-5s in impressive fashion then stringing up five straight birdies linking both nines, only to falter with a bogey on the last par-5 (18th) of the flat par-68 layout and settled for that 62.
Still their pair of 31s proved enough to net them the Group I lead in the 54-hole tournament sponsored by the PLDT Group, the MVP Sports Foundation, Smart and Metro Pacific Investment Corp. for the needed momentum going to today’s (Thursday) tougher aggregate format, which requires consistency from both players.
The final round of the season-ending event of the National Amateur Golf Tour will be played under the two-ball foursome, according to the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines.
While the Alido-Wong wavered at the finish, siblings Jolo and Jonas Magcalayo banked on a fiery windup to fire an eagle-spiked 64 and tie the Raymart Tolentino-Carlo Villaroman and Ryan Monsalve-Lanz Uy tandems at second.
The Magcalayos birdied the par-3 17th and eagled the last hole to move in early contention in the annual event hosted by CAGC featuring the country’s top and up-and-coming amateurs.
Tolentino and Villaroman actually took the early lead with three straight birdies but bogeyed the next two to reel back. They birdied Nos. 8, 10 and 12 but bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 before matching the Magcalayo’s eagle on 18th to bounce back.
Monsalve and Uy also matched Alido and Wong’s 31 start but settled for a two-birdie, two-bogey stint at the back.
Bianca Pagdanganan and Diana Araneta held their ground against their male counterparts with the gutsy duo combining for a 65 for joint fifth with the Jerbert Gamolo-Gab Manotoc and Paqo Barro-Joseph Orbito pairs, while Carl Corpus and Yuto Katsuragawa turned in a 66, the same output put in by the sister pair of Missy and Mia Legaspi.
Another sister tandem Sam and Nikki Bruce matched par 68 in the premier group in a tie with Harmie Constantino and Gabriel Macalaguim.
Meanwhile, Matthew Abalos and Don Petil charged back with a 32 for a 67 as they took charge in Group II, one stroke ahead of Josh Jorge and Gilbert Purcia, who produced a 68 while siblings Regis and Riane Casquejo carded a 69 and Adrian Romero-JP De Claro and Riggs Illescas-Pierre Ticzon shot identical 70s.
Ricky delos Santos and Bobby Arcillas, on the other hand, fired a 66 to surge to storm to a five-stroke lead in Group III with Ricardo Velasco and Ramon Capistrano turning in a 71 and Vic Se and August Cruz shooting a 72. Former pro Eddie Bagtas and Bobby Iñigo made a 76 to match Tommy Manotoc and Rene Unson’s output.