Corpus storms ahead with 72 as Chan falters
MANILA, Philippines – Carl Corpus pounced on Aidric Chan’s frontside meltdown then outshot the erstwhile leader at the back to overhaul a six-stroke deficit and move up by one with a 72 in a topsy-turvy third round at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac Wednesday that also saw five others dispute the third and last berth in the 2019 SEA Games men’s team.
Corpus fumbled with a 37 after nine holes but Chan fared a lot worse with two double bogeys and two bogeys in an atrocious start for the reigning national junior champion who had appeared to be in firm control after staying 6-up over the former after Tuesday’s round.
Chan actually moved up by two again with a birdie on No. 11 but bogeyed the 14th and Corpus surged ahead on a clutch two-shot swing (birdie-bogey) on the par-5 No. 16, finishing with a gutsy 37-35 for a 500 heading to the final 18 holes of the grueling eight-round elims for the three spots for the national team vying in this year’s SEA Games organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.
Chan, who had led the chase after the third round of the first of two-part elims, limped with a 79 and slipped to second at 501.
“My game was nothing of the extraordinary. I just kept my cool and took advantage of the good breaks while making the most of the bad (breaks),” said Corpus, an incoming San Jose State University in California, who hit one birdie against two bogeys at the front then birdied the par-5 16th and parred the rest to save an even-par round.
Chan, who looked a cinch for top honors with a 66 and 70 in the fifth and sixth rounds, dropped two strokes each on Nos. 1 and 3 and bogeyed No. 6 and 9 before yielding the lead with a closing 37 for that seven-over card.
Despite his skid, the University of Arizona-bound Chan vowed to strike back and reclaim his place on top.
“All the aspects of my game turned off. But it’s helpful for me to know what to work on,” said Chan.
But with the next two players laying 11 shots adrift of Chan, the top two are virtually assured of the SEAG slots, making the last spot a tossup among five bidders as Edward Dy charged back with a superb 67 to jump from eighth to joint third with Sean Ramos, who matched par 72, at 512 in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, the PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific.
Paolo Wong also kept his bid alive with a 71, tying Luis Castro, who groped for a 76, at 516 while Gab Manotoc hardly recovered from a previous 81 with a 75 but still stayed in the hunt at 517.
But no lead is safe at the tough Luisita layout as five players slug it out for the third and last slot in the national team in a final round duel of power, iron game and putting at the Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed layout which will also host the SEAG golf competitions on Nov. 30-Dec. 10.
Ryan Monsalve carded a 73 for eighth at 521 while brother Ivan Monsalve pooled a 523 after a 78 followed by Lanz Uy (73-525), Kristoffer Arevalo (77-526), Rolando Bregente (76-532) and Alexander Bisera (79-538).