SILANG, Cavite — Jet Hernandez put in a gutsy two-over 73 in tough conditions at Riviera’s Langer course yesterday as he upstaged a slew of fancied rivals to post a huge five-stroke lead over Josh Jorge at the start of the Riviera MVPSF Amateur Championship here.
Hernandez fought back from a one-birdie, three-bogey game at the front with three birdies against a bogey in the first four holes at the back but he failed to sustain his charge to the finish, dropping strokes on Nos. 14 and 16 that somewhat enabled his rivals to come within striking distance after succumbing in a challenging day at the hazard-laden par-71 layout.
Jorge never recovered from his two bogeys and a double bogey in the first three holes and limped with a 78 but still took the challenger’s role as Dan Cruz hobbled with a 79 and recent Northern Luzon Regional winner and Southeast Asian Games-bound Sean Ramos shot himself in the foot with two 40s for an 80.
Joining Ramos at fourth are Paolo Barro, Miguel Ilas and Korean Jung Jaehyun while Kim Tae Soo, also from Korea, and Santino Laurel hobbled with identical 81s to fall eight strokes off Hernandez in the 54-hole tournament.
The rest of the 30 starters lay too far behind with Lee Sang Min and fellow Korean Rho Hyun Ho and Masaichi Otake fumbling with 83s and Robert Manalo and Joachim Yu matched 84s in one of the country’s toughest courses.