Lucas de Guzman takes 11-shot lead at Pueblo de Oro

Lucas de Guzman

CAGAYAN DE ORO – Davao champion Lucas de Guzman kept track on his bid for back-to-back titles in the Mindanao leg of Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines (JGFP) as he carded an opening round 5-over 77 in the Pueblo de Oro Junior Open on Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country here.

The six-year-old de Guzman, who dominated the same division during the Davao meet early this month at Apo Golf, showed poise under pressure after struggling early with his putting.

A veteran of the 2022 IMG Academy Junior World Championships in the US, de Guzman mixed his rounds with five birdies, four bogeys and two double bogeys for an 11-shot lead on second running Ethan Franco Lago, who had an 88.

With the guidance of renowned coach Toch “J3” Altea – mentor of two-time Philippine Open champion and 2016 Rio Olympics veteran Miguel Tabuena – de Guzman will try to improve his score and win the title in today’s finals of the tournament backed by John Gaisano, Gaisano Malls, Islandwide Distribution Corp. and Pueblo Golf.

Meantime, sisters Nicole and Stephanie Gaisano-Gan also led their respective divisions, the former up by five strokes with a 76 against the 81 of Isabella Tabanas in the 11-12 girls, while the latter enjoys an eight-shot advantage after an 87 to Soleil Ianne Molde’s 95 in the 6-under girls.

In the 9-10 boys, hometown bet Ralph Rian Batican submitted the day’s best score as he fired a 4-under par 68 for an eight-shot advantage on Davao leg winner Jared Saban, who had a 76.

On the other hand, Brianna Macasaet shot an 81 to lead Rafella Adrianne Batican (86) in the 7-8 girls, while Gunnat Velez’s 97 leads the 7-8 boys, Brittany Tamayo is up by 13 strokes with a three-under 69 in the 9-10 girls, and Jacob Gomez had an 88 to lead the 11-12 boys.