GABRIEL Manotoc moved closer to a breakthrough individual triumph yesterday, shooting an eagle-spiked 2-under-par 70 to widen his Philippine Amateur Junior Open championship lead to four over Rupert Zaragosa at Sherwood Hills in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
The sweet-swinging 15-year-old fired the shot of the tournament—an 8-iron second shot from 175 yards that landed within driver-length of the cup on the par-5 15th, and then gunned down the eagle putt to take a 142 total going into the final two days of the event presented by the MVP Sports Foundation as part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour.
“I had some great ones and some bad ones,” said the son of the National Golf Association of the Philippines president Tommy Manotoc.
He assembled nines of 34-36 in a round that also had four birdies and as many bogeys.
The pint-sized Zaragosa, the former junior world titlist, matched par for 146 and Park Min-ung carded a 71 for third, five shots off the lead.
Justin Quiban, Alabang’s ace in the PAL Interclub, also had a 72 for 148, with Malaysian Ervin Chang another shot off after his version of a 72 in the event backed by Pancake House, Nike, Golf Depot, Pacsports and Microtel.
Basti Lorenzo submitted a second straight 75 and, at 150, would need to make a big move in today’s third round to have a shot at the title.
Meanwhile, Princess Superal zoomed to the girls’ division lead after a 71 and a 145 total. Pauleen del Rosario carded a 76 and fell to second on 149, with Malaysia’s Nur Eliana Ariffin ballooning to a back-nine 42 for 77 to be six back from just one shot behind Del Rosario overnight.
Defending girls’ champion Pamela Mariano continued to grope for form, struggling with an 82 after an opening 78 to make the cut on the dot at 160. Musong R. Castillo