SAN Diego, California—Mik-haela Fortuna remained on top in the girls’ 11-12 division Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) while Pauline del Rosario, Kristopher Arevalo and Aldrick Chan moved up to second going into the final round of their respective brackets in the Callaway Junior World golf championships here.
Fortuna matched par 73 at Rancho Bernardo to keep a one-shot lead over Japan’s Miyabi Tezuka with a 143 total after 36 of the 54-hole event. Bernice Ilas and Samantha Bruce lay at 149, in a tie with three others.
Del Rosario made the biggest move among the Filipinos competing in 11 courses, firing a 2-under-par 70 at The Country Club of Rancho Bernardo to climb to second place, just a stroke behind in the girls’ 13-14 class while Arevalo moved within two shots off American leader Davis Shore in the boys’ 13-14 division.
Chan fired a 70 for 141, two strokes off the boys’ 11-12 pace set by Texan Mason Nome and Californian Alexander Pak, who returned 73s at Sycuan Resort-Oak Glen.
Meanwhile, defending champion Rico Hoey again struggled off the tees but still gutted out a level 72, leaving him a shot off the lead in the centerpiece boys’ 15-17 class.
With the winds making the Torrey Pines South course tougher, the 17-year-old Fil-American was at four over after his first five holes, before he steadied the ship with a late cluster of birdies for a 140 total, one behind solo leader Jose Mendez of Costa Rica.
Mendez added a 71 to an opening 68, an effort matched by Australian Lucas Herbert, who moved into a tie for second with Hoey, the Putra Cup hero for the Philippines just last month at Sherwood Hills in Cavite.
Daniella Uy emerged as the PH frontrunner in the girls’ 15-17, shooting another 72 to climb to third at 144. Mariel Galdiano of Hawaii pulled away by five after adding a 69 to a 70 at Torrey Pines’ North course.
American first-round leader Amy Matsuoka ballooned to a 75 after an opening 69.
Princess Superal fired a 74 and trailed by eight shots with Bianca Pagdangan another stroke back after a second straight 74.
Fortuna will also try to hold off another Japanese, Minori Nagano, who had a 73 and lay two shots off the pace.
Del Rosario will try to overhaul American Haley Moore and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Thailand, who churned out a 69 and caught Moore (71) on top at 137. Japan’s Hikaru Yoshimoto was in fourth, another stroke behind Del Rosario after a day-best 67.
Arevalo sizzled with a 66 like Shore at the Morgan Run Resort. Jack Trent, who started the day just a stroke behind the leader, dropped to third after a 68 for 137.
Hoey is seeking to become the second Filipino after Carito Villaroman to win this event two straight years.