Keanu Jahns sustained his birdie-gunning ways yesterday, shooting a third round three-under-par 69 to take a two-stroke lead into the final 18 holes of the WWWExpress-DHL Amateur Open presented by the MVP Sports Foundation at Canlubang North.
The long-hitting 17-year-old Filipino-German knocked down six birdies and moved closer to a first major championship and validate his claim as one of the country’s finest players with a 214 aggregate.
Jahns, who rose to national consciousness in Cebu during the recent PAL Interclub when he played two rounds at the Cebu Country Club at a combined seven-under 137, had four of those birdies in the back and kept Jik-Jik Abdon at bay.
Abdon, the former national champion, returned a 70 for 216 even as Rupert Zaragosa made a bold move by shooting a tournament-best 68 to move within four strokes and remain a title contender.
Justin Quiban was another stroke back at 219 after a 73 with Gen Nagai, the Japanese teenager, shooting a 74 for 220 in the 72-hole championship that is part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
Dottie Ardina was flawless in the second round of women’s play, shooting a bogey-less 69 to pull away by seven from Pauline del Rosario with a 140 aggregate in the event also backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot and Pacsports.
Zaragosa opened with a bogey then canned five birdies in his next eight holes before going bogey-birdie from No. 12 for the best round in the tournament so far. Except for an opening 77, he would have easily grabbed the lead.
First-round leader Lloyd Jefferson Go of PAL Interclub champion Cebu CC continued to flounder, carding a 77 that sent him down by 11 shots. Also out of it all was Andres Saldana, another pre-tournament favorite who matched par but trailed by 13.
Princess Superal was eight strokes off the women’s pace after a 75, failing to sustain a front side 35 with a 40 coming home where she started bogey-double bogey.