TRECE MARTIREZ, Cavite—The Putra Cup drought of Team Philippines seems over and the country is pulling it off in style.
Playing with sustained brilliance, the Filipinos blitzed the field for the second straight day yesterday to erect a 14-stroke lead over Singapore that looks formidable enough in their bid to capture Southeast Asia’s official team golf championship for the first time in 17 years.
Rico Hoey fired a five-under-par 67, Jobim Carlos turned the back nine of Sherwood Hills layout here upside down for a 70 and Jonathan Delos Reyes completed another torrid day of scoring with a 71 for a third round eight-under-par 208 and 631 overall.
So unrelenting were the Filipinos, whose last championship came in 1996 in Burma (Myanmar), that a 73 from reigning national champion Rupert Zaragosa was discarded for the second straight day.
“Nothing is over until the last putt drops,” the 17-year-old Hoey told the Inquirer, moments after returning his 34-33 card that had six birdies against a single bogey. “We’re not done yet, there’s still a round to play.
“There are a lot of great (individual) players out there,” added Hoey, who has played the last two rounds at 7-under after opening with a 75 on Thursday. “We have to keep going, keep playing hungry.”
Singapore pulled ahead of Malaysia for second spot, getting three scores under par led by the 69 of veteran Jerome Ng, a 70 from Jon Woo and a 71 from Nicklaus Chiam for 210 and 645 overall.
The Malaysians got their best round of the day from Gavin Green again with a 68, but had to count the 79 of Albright Chong after the 69 of Abel Tam. That left them with a 216 and a 648 total, three strokes behind the 2011 champion Singaporeans.
Thailand’s bid for a repeat went down the drain after a 216 for 653. Chanachok Dejpiratanamong fired a 69 and Danthai Boonma matched par, but settled for a 75 as the third Thai score courtesy of Itthipat Burunatanyarat as world-ranked Poom Saksansin failed to count after a 76.
Carlos actually went three-over after his first nine holes before picking up the pace coming home where he finished with a 31.
The 19-year-old picked up three straight birdies from No. 11 to get back to level par. After gunning down birds on 16 and 17, he barely missed making it three-in-a-row again after his chip from the 18th fringe just lipped out.
Team Philippines also has a solid shot at the inaugural Kartini Cup (Junior Women’s) after Princess Superal assembled a 69 and Pauline Del Rosario a 70 for 139 that tied the Filipinos with Thailand at 431. Bianca Pagdanganan did not count with a 75.
Putra Cup (Men’s): 631 – Philippines (67-70-71=208); 645 – Singapore (69-70-71=210); 648 – Malaysia 68-69-79=216); 653 – Thailand (69-72-75=216); 665 – Hong Kong 71-72-75=218); 671 – Indonesia (72-72-74=218); 708 – Papua New Guinea (76-78-79=233); 721 – Brunei Darussalam (76-80-81=237).
Santi Cup (Women’s):433 – Thailand (67-70=137); 437 – Malaysia (69-72=141); 442 – Philippines (71-73=144); 442 – Singapore (69-77=146); 451 – Hong Kong (73-75=148); 466 – Indonesia 72-80=152); 534 – Brunei Darussalam (84-88=172).