Arevalo has breakthrough pro win in sight | Inquirer Sports
AFTER A 71

Arevalo has breakthrough pro win in sight

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:10 AM March 15, 2024

Kristoffer Arevalo

Kristoffer Arevalo

Kristoffer Arevalo had a relatively ho-hum rookie season as a pro last year, making just four of seven cuts on the Philippine Golf Tour.

After coming through Q School last week and with the talented field playing one of the toughest courses in the land for a first tournament this year, the ex-National team member is just 18 good holes away from breaking through and fulfilling his potential.

Closing out with three of his five birdies inside his final eight holes, Arevalo gutted out a one-under-par 71 on Thursday to seize a one-shot lead over Jonel Ababa after 54 holes of the P2.5 million ICTSI Apo Golf Classic, and the tournament’s third leader in as many rounds knows the first thing that’s needed to seal it.

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“If pressure comes in, it will really affect me,” Arevalo, the only player to break par two straight rounds counting his week-best 68 on Wednesday, said as he takes a 212 aggregate into the final round. “If I play my game, I won’t feel any [pressure].”

Ababa played the front side at 42 and eventually skied to a 76 even as Jay Bayron, South Korea’s Gwon Min-wook and The Netherlands’ Guido van der Valk lay another shot back after shooting 74, 73 and 76, in that order.

Sarah Ababa rallies

Meanwhile, Sarah Ababa rallied from four strokes down early to win the 54-hole ladies event by two shots over rookie Mafy Singson. With a 73, the product of the Apo Golf program tallied 216, her birdie on the par-5 sixth hole sealing a rare four-shot swing that touched off the comeback.

Singson ballooned to a 77 and was four strokes ahead of Mikha Fortuna, who also carded a 77.The tour hasn’t seen a leaderboard as tight as this recently as the tree-lined, bending course has proven to be a handful. The third round had only two players breaking par, with Marvin Dumandan’s 70 putting him within five shots of the lead.

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Antonio Lascuña, the consensus man-to-beat coming here, continued to labor hard because of flu-like symptoms. The four-time Order of Merit champion fired a 75 and is now three off the pace.

A total of 10 players are within five shots of Arevalo, who finished fifth in qualifying at South Pacific last week.

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The humidity has also become a factor, and playing a fourth straight round on Friday could make fatigue creep in on anyone as well.

“I’ll bring cold drinks and sandwiches,” Arevalo said.

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TAGS: Kristoffer Arevalo, Philippine Golf Tour

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