Chan closes in on SEAG berth, tops elims
Dante Navarro ( - June 7, 2019 - 2:08pm

MANILA, Philippines — Aidric Chan took a step closer to nailing a coveted berth in the national team vying in this year’s SEA Games as he topped the SEA Games men’s team Stage I qualifier at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac Friday.

The reigning national junior champion, who took charge of the reduced field with a 68 Thursday, blew a 34 start with a floundering finish but his 72 still put him three strokes ahead of three others after the first of the two-phase elims that will select the three members of the Philippine team.

Counting his two 73s, Chan assembled a two-under 286 as he built some cushion over three other bidders and nine others who survived the second cut heading to Stage 2 set June 10-13, also at the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed layout.

Carl Corpus birdied the first three holes at the back and fought back with a 70, Luis Castro fumbled with a bogey on the 17th and settled for a 71, and Sean Ramos also squandered a two-under frontside stint with a closing 38, settling for a 72 as the troika stayed in the hunt with identical 289s.

But first day co-leader Gab Manotoc also got back into the thick of things after a 77 and 75 in the middle rounds with a second 69 for a four-day total of 290, just four strokes behind Chan.

But the rest of survivors, who made the 13-player cut, stood too far behind although they remained hopeful of striking back next week in the last part of the grueling elims conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines, sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, the PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific and hosted by Luisita.

Edward Dy carded a 73 and Kristoffer Arevalo hobbled with a 75 as they scored identical 296s, 10 shots off the pace, while Alexander Bisera and Paolo Wong shot a pair of 73s and Ivan Monsalve carded a 74 for 297s.

Lanz Uy made a 75 for a 299, Ryan Monsalve skied to a 77 for a 303 in a tie with Rolando Bregente, who groped for a 78.

Riding the crest of his impressive 68 that gave him a three-stroke lead after three rounds, Chan birdied Nos. 3 and 4 and 10 and 11 against a bogey on No. 6 to pull away. But he dropped three strokes on the par-4 11th, enabling his pursuers to stay within striking distance.

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