Dottie Ardina turned in a gutsy even par 72 for the second straight day and held on to a one-stroke lead over new pursuer Thai Pannarat Thanapunboonyarat even as ICTSI-The Country Club teammate Sarah Ababa of Davao made her move with a 69 in the second round of the 21st SICC-DBS Junior Invitational Golf Championship in Singapore Tuesday.
Ardina, 18, hit three birdies against the same number of bogeys on another tough day at the Singapore Island Country Club but her 144-aggregate proved enough to keep her on track for the overall and 17-19 category championship in the 54-hole tournament.
Ababa, who shot an awful 78 in the first round, rattled off five birdies inside six feet to negate her missed green bogeys on Nos. 9 and 11 and put her back in contention at 147, also in the overall race and the 17-19 class.
But the Filipina bets will have to contend with Thanapunboonyarat, who fired a 71 after a 74 to close within one at 145.
Princess Superal also rebounded with a 72 after a 77 but the reigning Melaka and Malaysian Juniors champion stood five shots off Ardina at 149 and four adrift of Thanapunboonyarat in the 13-16 division.
Ardina, who earlier won the Taiwan Amateurs and the Penang Open, birdied Nos. 6 and 12 from 10 feet then knocked down a long birdie putt from 40 feet out on the 10th. She, however, fumbled with another three-putt bogey on the ninth and failed to save par inside five feet on Nos. 13 and 14.
Ababa went three-under after eight holes but dropped a shot on No. 9 before sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on the 10th. She missed the 11th green and made a bogey but rolled in another eight-footer on the 16th for a 69.(pr)