Cook Islands’ Howard still leading the way in men’s golf

Vanuatu's Clement Mansale at the top of his swing on day three at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club. Photo by Eliud Uwasenko

Vanuatu’s Clement Mansale at the top of his swing on day three at Royal Port Moresby Golf Club. Photo by Eliud Uwasenko

PORT MORESBY , July 17 – Twenty-one-year-old William Howard from the Cook Islands continued his front-running ways in men’s golf at the Royal Port Moresby Golf Course on Friday.

Howard ramped up the pressure on the field with a solid 2-over 74 as Adrien Peres (NCL) and Brian Taikiri (PNG) cracked with rounds of 82 and 85 respectively at Royal Port Moresby Golf Course.

Howard has led since round one, but will now need to keep a close eye on local RPMGC men’s open champion Soti Dinki (PNG), who shot a sparkling 2-under round of 70 to charge into contention just four shots behind the Cook Islander.

Howard three-round total of 220 is 4-over, while Dinki sits on 224 and Vanuatu’s Joseph Matuatu and Tahitian Joseph Carlotti are tied for third at 228.

Matuatu shot 77 and Carlotti carded a 75 to leap a head of 2011 champion Peres, who recorded a disastrous 82 to be nine shots adrift of the lead.

Thursday’s big mover, Brian Taikiri from PNG, also had a forgettable day on Friday, finishing with an 85, which was 14 shots worse than his day-two 71. He now sits in 13th overall and 15 shots behind Howard.

In the men’s team competition, PNG’s 54-hole combined total of 687 is now four shots ahead of New Caledonia (691) with Fiji sitting third on 696.

Cook Islands (698) look the only other chance of a medal with Samoa a further 10 shots adrift in fifth.

By Dr Pilipus Garpet, Games News Service

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