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Saso, Kim near titles


Yuka Saso and Kim Joo Hyung shot identical five-under-par 67s and moved nearer to retaining their respective divisions in the Philippine Junior Amateur Open Golf Championships yesterday at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite.

Saso birdied four of the first five holes and added two more birdies on the back nine to lead second placer Harmie Constantino by eight strokes with one round left.

Saso has a 54-hole aggregate of 207 nine-under-par for the tournament serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation.

The 16-year-old Constantino rebounded from a woeful second 78 with a 68 but the reigning W Express-RVF Cup champion could only pool a 219 heading to the final 18 holes of the annual event backed by Cignal and Metro Pacific Investment and organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.

Gabasa dropped to third at 220 after a 74 while Kristine Torralba carded a 75 for a 229 and Nicole Abelar shot a 74 for a 230.

Kim actually turned in a more impressive 67, a bogey-free 34-33 card that put the young, talented Korean way ahead at 212, six shots ahead of Ryan Monsalve, who tied Kim after 36 holes but faltered with a 73 marred by a triple-bogey 7 on No. 14.

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