CANLUBANG—Seasoned internationalists Jobim Carlos and Clyde Mondilla churned out contrasting versions of 2-under-par 70s Thursday to share the opening-round lead with Singapore’s Gregory Foo in the 2012 Philippine Amateur Open championship.
Carlos, the bespectacled 19-year-old regarded as the finest amateur in the land, finished bogey-bogey-par to salvage a 34-36 card, while Mondilla birdied the short eighth, his penultimate hole, to keep pace with the most feared foreigner in the field.
Foo, Singapore’s former national champion and spearhead of his national team, could have taken the solo lead but for a third bogey for the day on the finishing hole of the tough North course at Cangolf here.
The leading trio stood a stroke clear of Del Monte’s Leonard Lofranco in the event presented by Tanduay, Pancake House, Airphil Express and Globe Telecoms.
Mondilla, the former champion who has been very inconsistent since winning this event on his home course of Del Monte three years ago, eagled the par-5 17th and was working on a three-under card after a birdie on No. 1, his 10th hole, before dropping two consecutive shots from No. 4.
Carlos also missed a chance to grab the lead on his own after miscalculating his second shot on the 17th and dumping his 7 iron straight into the water hazard.
“It could have been better,” said Carlos, who is chasing his first Open championship at home. “There were several lapses for me out there. But I still like where I am now.”
Carlos finished with four birdies; Foo had five.
Lefty Andres Saldaña, the Alabang standout in the PAL Interclub, Lawrence Celestino and Korean expatriate Choi Jae-seung all matched par 72 to be just two behind.
Jerome Ng, the other spearhead of the crack Singaporean contingent, was in a group that scored 73s while Gabriel Manotoc, another teener who has shown vast improvement of late, scored a 74.
Reigning men’s and boys’ match play champion Rupert Zaragosa floundered on the back nine of his home course with a 43 and submitted a 79 that put him in a very precarious position going into today’s second round.
Lovelyn Guiogiuio took a double bogey on the 17th but held on for a two-stroke lead over Dottie Ardina in ladies’ play.
Their compatriots occupied the rest of the top 10 places, with Princess Superal shooting a 75 like Sarah Ababa and national team mainstay Andie Unson.
Amelia Yong, Singapore’s reigning ladies’ champion, returned an 88 and would need a low round today to make the final round on Sunday.
The leading scores (Filipino unless stated):
MEN: 70—J. Carlos 34-36, G. Foo (Sin) 35-35, C. Mondilla 36-34; 71—L. Lofranco 36-35; 72—A. Saldaña 38-34, CJ Seung (Kor) 38-34, L. Celestino 37-35; 73—K. Jahns 36-37, M. Alejandro 36-37, A. Mata 37-36, J. Ng (Sin) 36-37, G. Gandiongco 36-37, YJ Woong (Kor) 37-36; 74—G. Manotoc 35-39, P Cho (Kor) 38-36; 75—AR Ramos 41-34.
LADIES: 72—L. Guioguio 34-38; 74—D. Ardina 37-37; 75—P. Superal 36-39, A. Unson 37-38, S. Ababa 35-40; 76—S. Baraquiel 36-40; 78—J. Agojo 40-38, A. Fudolin 37-41; 79—A. Sabater 38-41; 80—C. Legaspi 42-38, V C Yi (Sin) 40-40, C. Avaricio 41-39.