Pro-bound Saldaña ahead by 4 with 68 | Inquirer Sports

Pro-bound Saldaña ahead by 4 with 68

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:04 AM February 19, 2014

CANLUBANG, Laguna—Working very hard before turning pro next month, Andres Saldaña put himself in position for what could be a perfect going away party.

The 19-year-old lefty fired a four-under-par 68 to grab a four-shot lead over the fancied Rupert Zaragosa and three others after the opening round of the 19th WExpress-DHL RVF Amateur championship presented by the MVP Sports Foundation at Canlubang North layout here.

“I have been practicing, fine-tuning my game practically without let-up for the past month or so because I will be turning professional (next month),” Saldaña told the Inquirer.

“So it’s nice to be able to shoot a low score.” Saldaña, whose last amateur event will be with Alabang in the Philippine Airlines Interclub in Bacolod next week, mixed five birdies with a bogey in a 33-35 card for his best tournament score in months.

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Zaragosa fired a level 72 like Mel Cubillo of Del Monte and reigning world 13-14 champion Kristoffer Arevalo and Jik-Jik Abdon.

Raymart Tolentino, another Junior World veteran, Magno Arancon of Del Monte and Korean expatriate Jung Tae-yang assembled 74s and trailed by six in the event that is part of the PLDT Group Amateur Tour and backed by Pancake House, Gold Depot and Pacsports.

While Saldaña started out hot with three birdies on the front nine, Zaragosa, the former national men’s and boy’s champion seeking to win this event for the first time, needed a strong finish to match par.

The pint-sized Zaragosa, second to Fil-German and new pro Keanu Jahns last year, had three birdies coming home after a 38 on the front nine.

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“I misjudged some shots out there,” said Zaragosa, who bogeyed the par-5 ninth after landing his approach shot in the front bunker. “But it’s OK, there are still three rounds left. I just can’t afford the same mistakes.”

Miggy Yee, the long-hitter playing out of Southwoods, fired a 75 like Cebu Country Club’s Japanese mainstay Gen Nagai and two obscure bets.

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TAGS: Andres Saldana, Canlubang North, Golf, Miggy Yee, Rupert Zaragosa

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