Saso leads PH Junior Open

Yuka Saso sizzled with four-under par 68 to take a three-stroke lead over Junia Gabasa while Carl Corpus showed solid form to take control of the boys’ field in Tuesday’s start of the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite.

In a release by the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP), Saso, marked his round with three birdies and an eagle against one more bogey in the next 14 holes as she put her title-retention bid on track while solidifying up her spot in this year’s SEA Games squad.

The event is the last part of a three-stage selection process for spots in the national team for the biennial event in Malaysia in August.

Saso, reigning national champion, also the World Junior Girls gold medalist in Canada last year, assembled nines of 33-35.Gabasa is in second spot with 71 (35-36)
Harmie Constantino, winner of the WExpress RVF Cup crown, the second national elims, last February, at third with 73 while Kristine Torralba carded a 74 and Kayla Nocum shot a 76 and Nicole Abelar and Korean Yang Ju Young each made a 78 in the event also serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and organized and conducted by NGAP.

Corpus, the NGAP Doubles winner last year with Yuto Katsuragawa, birdied the last hole to card a 71 and grab a two-stroke lead over Carlo Gatmaytan, who turned in a 73, while defending champion Kim Joo Hyung of Korea struggled in the heat and wind and hobbled with a 74, the same output put in by Ryan Monsalve.

Perry Bucay shot a 75 while Paolo Wong and Weiwei Gao made a pair of 76s to stay in contention in the 72-hole championship backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investment.

Meanwhile, former national champion Rupert Zaragosa groped with a 75 but still led the Special Division (18-and-above), two clear of Dan Cruz, who had a 77, while Lizbeth Alcantara seized control in the girls’ side with an 83, seven shots clear off Annika Guangko, who skied to 90.

Miguel Ilas shot an 81 and took a two-stroke lead over Francis Lanuza, who had an 83, in the 13-and-below section with Grace Quintanilla carding an 81 to post a 10-shot lead over Daniella Gatti, who struggled with a 91. (PNA)