CANLUBANG, Philippines — Tom Kim sustained his charge while Harmie Constantino recalled her fierce form as they turned in identical 69s to pull away from their respective rivals in the third round of the W Express RVF Cup Amateur Open Golf Championship at Cangolf’s North course here yesterday.
Kim strung up nines of 34-35 for a second straight three-under par card as the rising Korean star doubled his overnight three-shot lead over Aniceto Mandanas with a 12-under 204 aggregate, moving 18 holes away from scoring a follow-up to his one-stroke victory over Luis Castro in the Philippine Amateur Championship at Riviera last month.
Not to be outdone, Constantino bounced back from a so-so 73 Wednesday with a 35-34 card and turned a three-stroke deficit into a whopping six-shot lead at 214 as erstwhile leader Bernice Ilas shot herself in the foot with a 42 at the front and hobbled with a 78 for a huge nine-shot swing that dropped The Country Club bet to 220.
Nicole Abelar made a 73 for joint third with Sofia Chabon, who fumbled with a 76, at 223, while Mikha Fortuna fired a 71 and Junia Gabasa stumbled with a 75 for a 226 and 227, respectively.
Just three off Kim halfway through the tournament backed by the MVP Sports Foundation and serving as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour, Mandanas fell farther back with a 38 start although he recovered with a 34 to salvage a 72 for a 210.
Jonas Magcalayo also struggled in the early going with a 37 but fought back with a 34 for a 71 although he fell eight shots off the pace with a 212 aggregate heading to the final round of the 23rd staging of the event held in honor of the late golf patron and former NGAP president Rod Feliciano.
Carl Corpus rallied with a 33 at the back to match Kim’s 69 but lay too far behind at 214 in a tie with Jolo Magcalayo, who matched par 72, while Aidric Chan came through with the day’s best 68 for a 216.
Carlo Villaroman and Castro carded identical 73s for 217s while Kristoffer Arevalo fired a 71 for a 219 and Gabby Macalaguim and Paolo Wong pooled a 219 and 220 after a 75 and 71, respectively, in the event organized and conducted by the National Golf Association of the Philippines.