Yee, Ramos wrest 1-shot lead with 66

Miggy Yee and AR Ramos went on a birdie-binge early to seize control then hung tough at the back to hold of a rallying Jobim Carlos-Jonar Austria pair and snatch a one-stroke lead after two rounds of the Meralco National Doubles Amateur (Closed) Championship at Wack Wack’s West Course yesterday.

Yee and Ramos, who shared the first round lead with Rupert Zaragosa and JP De Claro with 69s, birdied the first two holes then added four more, including three straight from No. 6, to negate a bogey mishap on the ninth for a fiery 31. But they failed to sustain their charge, needing to close out with gutsy pars in the four-ball format to cling to a one-shot lead at 135.

Carlos, chasing back-to-back crowns in the three-day event sponsored by Meralco organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Phils., and Austria fought back from five shots down with a stirring five-birdie spree at the back, including the last three holes to shoot the day’s best score of seven-under 65 in the best-ball event. They had a 136.

Zaragosa, the former national and junior champion, and De Claro failed to keep pace with Yee and Ramos at the front with a so-so 36 but rebounded with three birdies for a 33 to salvage a 69. They, however, dropped to third with a 138, three strokes behind.

Top jungolfer Gabriel Manotoc and Raymond Gonzales, who teamed up with Carlos to dominate last year’s inaugurals of the event sponsored by Pancake House, Titleist by Empire Golf, Pacsports and Golf Depot, also struck with a six-under 66 to wheel back into contention at 142 heading to the aggregate closing format.

Martirez and Monsalve birdied the last three holes at the front to seize control then held on with a bogey-birdie stint at the back for that 69 and a 36-hole haul of 144, including a 75 in the foursome format.

Legaspi and Medalla settled for a 71 despite a birdie-birdie finish and dropped to second with a 146 while Princess Superal and Daniella Uy recovered from a woeful 82 with a 69 but still stood seven shots off Martirez and Monsalve at 151.

Bianca Pagdanganan and Dana Gonzales pooled a 153 after a 71 while Samantha Bruce and Gabrielle Bruce fired a 70 for a 158.

John Kier Abdon and Chris Jordan shot a 70 for a 144 while Lawrence Celestino, winner of the recent Philex NGAP Regionals in Baguio, and Kenneth Kano rallied with a 67 but still trailed the leader by nine at 146 in the event serving as the final leg of the Globe Business Amateur Circuit.

Sam Martirez and Marvi Monsalve also broke away from a first round tie with the Mia Legaspi-Felicia Medalla pair, combining for a three-under 69 to move up by two heading to the aggregate format event in today’s final round.(pr)

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