Kim, Fil-Japanese Saso gain top seeding

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Tom Kim CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Tom Kim CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Korean Tom Kim primed himself up for the knockout stage as he topped the 36-hole stroke play elims with a 71 in boys’ play yesterday while Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso took the low medal honors in the girls’ side in the 2016 Philippine Junior Amateur Match Play Golf Championship at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa.

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Kim shot down four birdies to negate his three-bogey mishap under scorching heat, turning in a second straight 71 for a 142 aggregate and the top ranking in the match play phase, four clear off erstwhile co-leader Ira Alido, who wavered with a 75 to settle for No. 2 at 146.

Aniceto Mandanas turned in a 73 to claim the third spot at 149 while Liam Cully struggled with a 76 for fourth at 152 followed by Jolo Magcalayo and Marc Corrales, who both turned in 74s for a 154 and 155, respectively, in the event held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, PLDT, Smart, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and the Philippine Sports Commission.

Kim, who won the stroke play crown last month, takes on Chadric Lazaro, who had a 209 after a 109, in today’s start of the knockout phase with Alido tangling with Eduardo Gongona (98-197), Mandanas facing off Jaime Oposa (95-193), Cully clashing with William Chua (95-190), Magcalayo squaring off with David Bantug (90-179) and Corrales colliding with Aldo Barro (87-177).

Luis Castro limped with a 79, Dan Emilio Cruz made a 77 and Peter Tyler Po and Carlo Villaroman shot identical 81s as they shared seventh place at 157.

Saso, on the other hand, cruised to clinch the top ranking in girls’ play despite a 76 as the Queen Sirikit Cup veteran, who matched par 72 in the opener, pooled a 148, five ahead of defending champion Harmie Constantino, who rallied from an opening 81 with a 71 for a 153.

Korean Hwang Min Jeong, winner of a ladies pro event last year, took the No. 3 spot at 155 despite a 77 while Lois Go of Cebu assembled a 157 after a 78 for fourth in the weeklong event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.

Kristine Torralba made a 79 for a 159 for fifth while Ashia Nocum pooled a 162 after an 80 followed by Koh Eun A (86-164), Jona Magcalayo (82-166), Annika Guangko (95-186) and Yun Ji Ang (109-209).

Meanwhile, Luigi Guerrero made a 79 for a 156 as he topped the special division’s boys’ 18-and-above with Gabriel Manotoc assembled a 159 after an 80 and Ivan Monsalve carded an 85 for a 168.

Perry Bucay shot an 80 to top the 13-and-below side at 168, two ahead of Zachary Castro, who made an 84 for a 170, while Sunshine Zhang lorded it over the girls’ 13-and-below field with a 162 after an 81, way ahead of Mikaela Arroyo, who had a 182 after a 91, and Laurea Duque, who limped with a 92 for a 191.

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