Luis Castro birdied the last hole to card a one-over 69 and grab a two-stroke lead over Kim San Jin at the start of the first Aguinaldo Junior Open Championship at the Camp Aguinaldo Golf Club in Quezon City on Monday.
Castro blew a one-under 34 card at the front of the short but tricky par-68 military layout as he fumbled with three straight bogeys from No. 12 before drilling in a birdie putt from close range at the par-5 18th to save a 35 for that 69.
In contrast, Kim fought back from a shaky 38 start with a one-birdie, one-bogey stint at the back to seize second at 71 while Santino Gatmaytan turned in a 73 for third in the 72-hole tournament dubbed as the Red Jacket organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines and hosted by CAGC.
Richnell Albano also birdied the 18th for a 74 as he tied Leandro Bagtas, who rallied with a 34, at fourth while Riggs Illescas shot a 75 for sixth in the premier Championship Division of the event held as part of NGAP’s program to boost amateur junior golf.
Matthew Abalos, David Guangko and Paolo Wong each carded 76s while Pierre Ticzon and Wiggam Tapdasan stood 10 strokes off Castro with 79s.
Harmie Constantino flashed her familiarity with the tight layout and fired a three-under 65 marked by six birdies against three bogeys, the last two on Nos. 15 and 17.
The Championship division winners will receive a Red Jacket plus a one-year membership at CAGC and a round trip ticket to US.
Other titles being disputed are the Classes A (15-18), B (13-14), C (11-12), D (9-10) and E (8-and-below).
Heading the cast in Class A are Zedi Lagman, Martin Alindogan and Andrea Zamco, while Andrei Gahol and Joa Chim Yu banner the Class B field. Theresa dela Paz, Virgo Villacorta III, Zachary Castro and Sunshine Zhang are slugging it out in Class C while Joshua de Guzman, Mikhaella Constantino, Jody Castillo, Dylan Castillo and Gabie Rosca are clashing in Class D.
Mikaela dela Paz, Jacob Taruc and Precious Zaragosa head the field in Class E.