Constantino, Korean pace Junior Amateur Open

MANILA, Philippines – Park Min-ung of Korea carded an eagle-aided, five-under-par 67 to post a two-shot lead over local favorites Rupert Zaragosa and Kristoffer Arevalo in the first round of the 2015 Philippine Junior Amateur Open (Strokeplay) at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite yesterday.

In the girls’ competition, Harmie Constantino shot a two-under 70 and went five-up over Samantha Bruce, Jona Magcalayo, Ashia Nocum and Korean Koh Eun-A, who struggled with identical 75s.

The 15-year-old Park, playing out of Riviera, hit a 210-yard second shot to pin-length high on No. 4 for that eagle but flubbed a par-putt bid from five feet on No. 2 that marred an otherwise soldi round in scorching heat.

The Korean launched his bid with a birdie from 12 feet then rolled in a six-footer on the eighth before ramming in two more birdies on Nos. 13 and 18 for that 67 and a two-shot lead over Zaragosa and Arevalo, who turned in identical 69s.

“The greens were sleek and fast. I was happy that my putting was pretty good,” said Park, who won the same tournament here at Sherwood Hills in 2013.

Zaragosa gunned down three birdies and chipped in an eagle from 20 feet on the par-5 No. 8 to negate his two missed green bogey mishaps.

“The Jack Nicklaus course played long from the gold tees and the greens were really fast,” said Zaragosa, who will banner the national team to this year’s Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.

Wei Wei Gao, another member of the national team, matched par 72 while Aidric Chan and Lanz Uy stood a shot farther back with 73s.

Ryan Monsalve, the boys champion at Manila Southwoods, struggled with a two-over 74.