By NIMROD NL QUIÑONES
Weiwei Gao and Lois Kaye Go held on to the lead in contrasting fashion for their respective groups after Thursday’s penultimate round of the 10th Junior Golf Challenge played at the Alta Vista Golf and Country Club in Pardo, Cebu City.
Alta Vista’s Gao, 15, limped home with a nine-over-par 79 strokes for a two-day total of 149 to stay one stroke clear of his closest pursuer in class A (15 to 17 years old) boys.
The course has not been shortened in terms of distance, but holes No. 9 and 18, which both normally play as par-5s have been made into par-4 holes.
Trailing Gao at second is JJ Gamolo of Pueblo de Oro with 150 strokes on rounds of 73 and 77. Defending champion Gen Nagai of Cebu Country Club remains five strokes off the pace as he also shot a 79 Thursday for a total of 154 strokes.
The story is different for the girls class A as LK Go of Cebu Country Club amassed a two-day total of 152 strokes on rounds of 74 and 78. Del Monte’s Pamela Mariano, one of the tournament favorites, climbed to second with a total of 158 (8078) while defending champion Ericka Lim of Alta Vista is at third with 163 on rounds of 79 and 84.
Ira Christian Alido of Navy Golf continues to pace class B (13-14 years old) for boys with a two-day total of 147 strokes on rounds of 72 and 75.
Running second is Alta Vista’s Weiyu Gao with 154 (77-77) followed by Rusell Bautista of Mactan at third with 155 (78-77).
Alta Vista’s Junia Gabasa pulled away in girls class B with an aggregate of 158 strokes on rounds of 81 and 77.
Del Monte’s Martina Miñoza is second with 167 (85-82) followed by Mactan’s Angela Mangana with with 171 (88-83).
In the special division for players aged 18 to 21 years old, Aris Mata of Alta Vista continues to lead the boys division with a total of 156 strokes on rounds of 80 and 76. At second is King Abarintos also of Alta Vista with 164 (89-75).
In the distaff side, Gabee Crystal is two up her twin sister Mikylah. Gabee has a total of 162 strokes (79-83) while Mikylah has 164 (86-78). Both are from host Alta Vista.
On the three divisions above are playing 54 holes in this tournament. Action in the other classes started Thursday as they will only be for 36 holes.
Leading the pack for class C (11-12) boys is Josh Jorge of Navy Golf with 80 strokes. Trailing him is Del Monte’s Rolando Bregente with 82 and Alta Vista’s Mark Cannen with 85.
Alta Vista’s Weifang Gao and Navy’s Laia Simone Barro lead class C girls with 92 strokes apiece. Apo’s Yvon Bisera is at third with 95.
In class D (9-10) for boys, Navy’s Sean Granada holds a six-stroke lead with 86 strokes. Running second is David Guangko of Manila Southwoods with 92 followed by Timothy Co of Apo Golf with 95.
For the girls division, Navy’s Samantha Marie Dizon fired 80 strokes to set the pace. She is followed by Alessandra Christine Nagayo of Apo with 87 and Annika Chua of Navy with 91.
In class E (6-8) for boys, Zeus Sara of Apo leads the cast with 34 strokes. Trailing him is Andrew Josh Chua of Navy is second with 38 and at third is Alta Vista’s Ren Moromasa with 43.
In the girls class, Alexi Blanco and Ma. Theresa de la Paz of Navy share the lead with 46 followed by Del Monte’s Abby Abarcas with 55.
The final round of the tournament will be played Friday and the awards ceremony will be held starting at 2 p.m.