Aidric Chan holed out with an eagle and fired a bogey-free four-under 67 to all but clinch the 2017 NGAP Northern Luzon Regional golf crown with a huge 12-shot lead over Carl Corpus while Harmie Constantino shot a 70 to force a tie in the women’s Elite side at the Beverly Place Golf Club in Mexico, Pampanga on Saturday.
Making up for his double-bogey mishap at the closing par-5 No. 18 where he drove out of bounds Friday, Chan hit it straight off the mound this time then hacked out a superb iron shot to within 10 feet and made the putt, capping a 33-34 card that included birdies on Nos. 3 and 10.
Counting his first round 68, Chan pooled a seven-under 135 and pulled away from the pack heading to the final round of the 54-hole Elite tournament sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and organized by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Despite ideal condition, Corpus and the rest failed to mount any kind of challenge against the 16-year-old Ateneo mainstay, who continued to pound the short, flat par-71 layout – and the field – with his superb shotmaking and iron play and solid putting.
Corpus could only churn out a 72 although he moved to second at 147 while Kuresh Samanodi stumbled with a 75 for a 150 and erstwhile second-running Luis Castro skied to a 78 and slipped to joint fourth with Paolo Wong, turning in a 75, at 151.
Don Petil and Lanz Uy assembled identical 154s after a 76 and 78, respectively, while Kristoffer Arevalo limped with a 78 for a 157 and Pierre Ticzon and Leandro Bagtas hobbled with an 81 and 79 for 158 and 161, respectively.
But while Chan has practically put a lock on the men’s diadem, Constantino made it a two-player duel for the women’s tiara as he came through with a one-under card to join Korean Shin Seo Yun, who carded a 72, at the helm at 145.
Two down at the start of the day, Constantino fumbled with three bogeys but gunned down four birdies, including the last hole, as the many-time national champion pounced on Shin’s shaky backside stint of 38 to stay in the hunt of her title-retention bid in the event serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour.
Korean Kim Seo Yun struggled with a 76 while Kristine Torralba made a 77 as they fell too far behind the joint leaders with similar 154s while Yang Ju Young had a 156 after a 77.
Meanwhile, August Cruz carded a 75 to share the first round lead with Alan Alegre in the men’s Division I late Friday with Mark Tan, Bernard Chang Jr., Francis Lanuza and Jamil Ramirez all scoring identical 76s.
Rante Bambao, on the other hand, paced Division II with a 78, one shot ahead of Jared Sto. Tomas, who made a 79, with Jesus Laigo at far third with an 85.