Question of the day in the boys' 15-17 division of the Junior World Golf Championships at Torrey Pines: Could defending champion and first-round leader Carito Villaroman of the Philippines repeat Tuesday's round of 66? No, he couldn't. But you'd better put an asterisk next to that answer.
Villaroman shot a five-under-par 67 Wednesday at Torrey Pines' South Course. He had six birdies and a bogey.
His two-day total of 11-under-par 133 puts him nine strokes ahead of South Africa's Manuel Zerman.
"These are the best two rounds I've ever put together," Villaroman said. "But you never know. I want to shoot maybe a 70 (today) and hope that there won't be any pressure the final day."
In the final round last year, Hawaii's Damien Jamila led Villaroman by one stroke when both reached the 17th. Jamila then self-destructed, Villaroman sank a 25-foot putt and won the title by two strokes.
"That's (the 17th) my favorite hole anywhere," Villaroman said. "I have good memories there."
Villaroman attends Weber State University in Utah. When not in school, he stays at home in the Philippines or with a brother in Los Angeles.
"He must have family everywhere," said Mac Madsen, Villaroman's coach at Weber State. "Every time we go to a tournament, be it Phoenix or even back east, he gets on the phone and calls one of his cousins or something. Then they bring a hole bunch of fans out."
He does have a good idea about his golf game. Villaroman is the first of many young players from the Philippines to make an impact at the Junior World championship. Ramon Brobio, also of the Philippines, won the 13-14 boys' title last year.
"They made a commitment down there and if they keep it up, I expect that we'll be seeing a lot more Filipinos playing good golf in the United States," Madsen said. "We were lucky to get Carito at Weber State. We're hoping Brobio will want to follow in his footsteps."
Junior World Notes
Manuel Zerman also finished second a year ago. If Villaroman wins, it will be his third Junior World Title. He also won the 13-14 championship in 1983. At Weber State, Villaroman finished third in the NCAA championships three months ago. . . . In the girls' 15-17 division on Torrey Pines' North Course, Michele Lyford of Redlands shot a one-under-par 73 to take a one-shot lead over Amy Fruhwirth of Cypress. Christy Erb of Bonita is five shots back in fourth place. . . . Warren Schutte of South Africa leads the boys' 13-14 division at Balboa Park by one shot. Matt Masluk of Boulder City, Nev. had a 72 (par) Wednesday to move into second place. Patricia Sinn of Bellflower lead the girls' 13-14 division by two shots over Stephanie Martin of Camarillo. Leta Lindley of Oceanside is third, three shots back. . . . Brian Brown of Rocky Mountain, N.C., leads the boys' 11-12 division by one shot. Leanne Wong of Los Angeles leads the girls' division by five shots. . . . Defending champion Jan Kotoshirodo has opened a 16-stroke lead after two rounds of the 10-and-under girls' championship at Presidio Hills. Jaysen Manuia of Hilo, Hawaii leads the boys' division by one shot over Martin Vales of the Philippines. Eldrick (Tiger) Woods, two-time defending champion, had a 58 (two-over par) Wednesday and is in ninth place, 10 shots back . . . All divisions except the boys' and girls' 15-17 finish today. The 15-17 divisions finish Friday.