Carl Corpus stumbled at the finish but still held on to the lead despite a one-over 73, one stroke ahead of Sean Ramos at the start of the 36-hole stroke play elims of the Philippine Amateur Open Match Play Championships at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac yesterday.
Corpus kept a one-under card with a two-birdie, one-bogey stint after 15 holes but the 17-year-old defending champion, who rallied to beat Aniceto Mandanas at the Orchard last year, bogeyed the par-5 16th and dropped another stroke on the treacherous par-3 17th to settle for a 36-37.
But that proved enough to net him the lead and zero in on the top seeding heading to the knockout phase starting tomorrow (Wednesday) as Ramos turned in a 74 and six players posted identical 76s in hot conditions at the tight, hazard-laden Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layout.
Ramos hit three birdies but made three bogeys and a double-bogey for a 38-36 round while Kristoffer Arevalo struck back with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to lead the four-over par scorers, who included Paolo Wong, Leandro Bagtas, Zachary Castro and Korean Kim Tae Soo.
The top 16 players after two rounds of stroke play will advance to match play with Perry Bucay, Wiggam Tapdasan, Josh Jorge, Paqo Barro, Dan Cruz and Ha Tae Won, also of Korea, putting in similar 78s to stay in the hunt in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Tour.