Katsuragawa waxes hot with 69, leads Riviera golf by 2 strokes
Reedy Yuto Katsuragawa fired a three-under-par 69 and opened his bid in the Philippine Amateur Open golf championship on a smashing note at Riviera’s Couples layout in Silang, Cavite, yesterday.
The 18-year-old Japanese, looking for the first big win of a very young career that blossomed at Manila Southwoods in nearby Carmona, fired four birdies against a bogey in a 35-34 effort that was good for a two-shot lead over unheralded Paolo Wong.
Filipino-Japanese standout Yuka Saso also carded a 69 for a similar two-stroke lead over defending champion Harmie Constantino in women’s play, which ended before dusk.
Saso, the reigning Junior World girl’s champion, had five birdies and could have gone lower if not for a double bogey on No. 7 as she justified her pretournament billing as the player to beat.
Multiple winner Rupert Zaragosa had a truly bad day, shooting an 80 to be 11 shots adrift.
Aniceto Mandanas fired a 74, tied with South Koreans Kim Hyung-joo and Lee Jun-min and Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana.
Carl Corpus, Katsuragawa’s partner in winning the National Doubles title a couple of weeks ago, fired a 75 to stay in the hunt, like Ira Alido, Carlo Quimson, Taiwan’s Han Wei-chu and Luis Castro.
The event will also be used as a tryout of sorts for the national teams that will campaign in the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia in August. —MUSONG R. CASTILLO
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