Aidric Chan posted a huge five-stroke lead over Luis Castro with a three-under 68 despite a final hole mishap while Korean Shin Seo Yun took charge with a 73 in the women’s side at the start of the 2017 NGAP Northern Luzon Regional Golf Championship at the Beverly Place Golf Club in Mexico, Pampanga yesterday.
Chan looked headed to a dominant start after sustaining a near-impeccable two-under 32 with three birdies at the back. But the 16-year-old Ateneo student missed posting a bigger lead with a double-bogey after driving out-of-bounds on the closing par-5 No. 18 of the par-71 layout.
But with the rest failing to tame the short, flat bunker-laden course, Chan stormed ahead of the pack in the Elite amateur division with Castro falling behind by five despite gaining three strokes with a birdie on No. 18 for a 73.
Kuresh Samanodi also faltered at the tougher closing nine, limping with a 40 for a 75 in a tie with Carl Corpus, who closed out with a 42, while recent Canlubang Amateur Open winner Paolo Wong also groped for form and hobbled with a 76 and stood eight shots off Chan.
Lanz Uy blew an even 34 start with five bogeys in a birdie-less backside stint and dropped to joint fifth with Wong while Loyd Labradro and Pierre Ticzon turned in identical 77s to lay nine shots off the pace in the 54-hole championship sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and organized by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Shin, meanwhile, upstaged fancied Harmie Constantino as she shot a 73 to grab the lead in women’s division of the centerpiece event serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.
Shin hit three birdies against five bogeys for a 35-38 card and a two-stroke lead over Constantino, who matched Shin’s opening 35 but reeled back with a bogey and a double-bogey at the back for a 75.
Kristine Torralba also closed out with a 40 but stayed in the hunt with a 77 while another Korean Kim Seo Yun matched par 37 at the back for a 78 and joint fourth with Missy Legaspi, who posted a 40-38.
Yang Ju Young, also of Korea, and Sunshine Zhang carded identical 79s while Isabela Miravite skied to an 82.
Also being disputed are the men’s Divisions I and II titles and the ladies handicap Open crown.