Korean seizes 2-shot lead at Riviera Clas­sic

Tempo - - Sports -

SILANG, Cavite – Korean amateur Tom Kim proved stead­ier than the elite pros, birdy­ing two of the last four holes for a 67 and a two-stroke lead over Clyde Mondilla in the third round of the weather-de­layed ICTSI Riviera Clas­sic yes­ter­day here.

Though he bo­geyed the 18th at the re­sump­tion of his sec­ond round play early morn­ing for a 69, Kim fought back from three shots down with a five-birdie, one-bo­gey stint in the piv­otal round to find him­self the be­wil­dered leader at seven-un­der 206.

That was two strokes clear off Mondilla, who matched par 71 at the com­ple­tion of his sec­ond round play late Thurs­day and kept his two-shot lead in­tact with a frontside 34 be­fore limp­ing at the re­sump­tion of third round play with three bo­geys against a birdie in the last eight holes.

He wound up with a 72 and dropped to sec­ond at 208 while Michael Bi­bat, who threat­ened with two off Mondilla with a solid sec­ond round 65, also bo­geyed the par-5 16th and slid to third at 209 with the two pros ex­pected to gang up on the young Kim in today’s fi­nal round for a shot at the top $17,500 purse.

Mar­vin Du­man­dan shot his third straight 70 and stayed in con­tention at 210 al­though the for­mer club pro stood four strokes be­hind Kim, win­ner of last year’s Philip­pine Ju­nior Amateur Open crown.

Charles Hong also fol­lowed up his sec­ond round 68 with a 69 as the for­mer ICTSI Philip­pine Golf Tour win­ner tied Du­man­dan at fourth while Dutch Guido Van der Valk fired the round’s best 66 to gain solo sixth at 212 head­ing to the last 18 holes of the $100,000 cham­pi­onship serv­ing as the third leg of the in­au­gu­ral PGT Asia Tour spon­sored by ICTSI.

Tony Las­cuña carded a sec­ond 71 for joint sev­enth with Er­win Ar­cil­las, who shot a 69, at 214 while erst­while con­tender Ira Alido stum­bled with a five-over card for a run­ning two-over over­all with two to play.

Jhon­nel Ababa turned in a 70 after a 71 for a 215 in a tie with Jer­son Balasabas and Amer­i­can James Bowen, who carded a 70 and 71, re­spec­tively.

The rest of the 53 play­ers who made the cut lay too far be­hind the lead­ers al­though four lo­cals re­mained within strik­ing dis­tance of Kim for a crack at the top $17,500 purse in the 72-hole cham­pi­onship or­ga­nized by Pilip­inas Golf Tour­na­ments, Inc.

TOM Kim lines up his birdie putt on No. 5.

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