By Bernice Olivarez-Ilas/Manila Bulletin
SILANG, Cavite — Siblings Miguel and Bernice Olivarez-Ilas churned out a pair of gutsy rounds in another punishing day at Langer course and edged closer to posting a rare feat in the Riviera MVPSF Amateur Championship here Saturday.
The field battled through strong winds for the second straight day and had to endure intermittent rains with Miguel, 14, toughening up in the last four holes to produce a 75 spiked by a final-hole birdie and surging from joint fourth to the top of the heap at 152, two ahead of Kristoffer Arevalo and Josh Jorge.
Bernice, on the other hand, kept her game in check from start to finish, rebounding from miscues with clutch birdies and submitting a tough 73 card that shoved her past erstwhile leader JuniaGabasa at 147 in the women’s side of the Championship Division of the event presented by MVP Sports Foundation.
Gabasa, who led Bernice by two Friday, blew it early with a 40 start but the Cebuana bet battled back with a 36 to salvage a 76 for a 148, just one stroke off the new leader. Rianne Malixi also squandered a 36 start with a 42, her 78 dropping her eight strokes off Bernice at 155.
“I’m happy with my short game and enjoyed most of it,” said Miguel, a Grade 9 De La Salle-Zobel student who topped the Pradera World Qualifying Amateur Championship recently. “I had some troubles but I somehow managed it.”
The same could not be said of his rivals as Arevalo bogeyed the 17th for a 74 and Jorge fumbled with a closing 40 for a 75 for a pair 154s as the gusts continued to bedevil the games of the contenders, including opening day leader Sean Ramos.