Corpus makes move, bolster bid with 68

Carl Corpus put on a superb four-under 68 as he firmed up his hold of the No. 2 spot even as Aidric Chan held sway with a 70 in the second round of the 2019 SEA Games men’s team qualifier Stage 2 at the Luisita Golf and Country Club yesterday.

Eight behind Chan after the start of the last of the two-part elims for the three members of the SEA Games-bound national squad, Corpus went to work early and birdied three of the first five holes then rebounded from a bogey on the sixth with birdies on Nos. 14 and 16 to string a pair of 34s and keep his hold of second place at 428.

Chan, an incoming University of Arizona student, opened and closed out his bid with bogeys but gunned down four birdies in between to card a 70 and all but wrap up the top berth in the SEAG team with a 422, six ahead of Corpus heading to the final 36 holes of the grueling qualifiers organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.

But the fight for the third and last SEAG seat is expected to go down to the last shot or putt as Sean Ramos and Luis Castro tied for third at 440 and Gab Manotoc lay just two strokes behind at 442 despite a disastrous 81.

Ramos, who dropped to fifth with a 75 Monday, continued to grope for form and hobbled with a 76 while the erstwhile fourth-running Castro fought back from a woeful 45 start with three birdies at the back for a 33 to save a 78.

Manotoc, who moved to third with a 71 Monday, dropped five strokes in the first four holes, including a double-bogey on the par-3 second hole. He failed to check his skid and finished with a 41-40 but remained in the fight for the last slot in the tournament sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation, the PLDT Group, Cignal and Metro Pacific and hosted by Luisita.

Ivan Monsalve carded a 73 and kept his slim hopes alive with a 445 in a tie with Paolo Wong and Edward Dy, who turned in a 75 and 77, respectively, while Ryan Monsalve matched par 72 for a 448.

Kristoffer Arevalo and Lanz Uy both carded 78s for a 449 and 452, respectively, while Rolando Bregente and Alexander Bisera pooled a 456 and 459 after a 75 and 85, respectively.