Ardina, Zaragosa bag Thai crowns

Dottie Ardina leaned on a pair of early birdies to draw level then outlasted ICTSI-The Country Club teammate Princess Superal in a thrilling backside duel to pull a one-stroke victory with a closing 70 in the True Visions International Junior Golf Championship 2013 in Bangkok late Friday.

Ardina, who led in the first two rounds but dropped to second after Superal seized the third round lead with a flawless 66, came through with a clutch birdie on the 17th to turn back Superal and annex the Class A crown on a 277 total.

Rupert Zaragosa, meanwhile, fired a four-under 68 for an impressive eight-under 280 as he thumped Thai Sarit Suwannarut by eight to cap the Philippines’ domination of the annual event. Suwannarut had a 288 after a 74.

Superal, 16, struggled with a 73 and settled for second at 278 while Taiwanese Yi Ching Wu took third place with a 282 after a 68.

Ardina birdied Nos. 5 and 6 to catch up with Superal, surged ahead after the latter bogeyed No. 9 only to fall into a tie again with a Superal birdie on the 11th.

She fell behind again with a missed-green bogey on the 14th but forced drew level again after Superal bogeyed the 15th. After both players parred the 16th, Ardina went one-up again with a six-foot birdie putt on the 17th which Superal failed to match then clinch the victory with a routine par on the tough finishing hole.

“It could have gone either way. But I made a clutch putt on the 17th,” said Ardina, who picked up another win after dominating the WWWExpress-DHL Open back home last month and winning the Thailand Ladies Open 18-20 crown last week.

Team Philippines also stamped its class in team play as Ardina, Superal and male teammates Zaragosa and Raymart Tolentino pooled an 835 to beat Thailand (859) and Taiwan (870) in Class A while Sofia Chabon, Harmie Constantino, Chan Aidric Baldona and Ira Alido assembled a 643 to capture the Class C crown, defeating Thailand 2 (650) and Thailand 1 (682).

Abby Arevalo carded a 76 and ended up fourth in Class B with a 298, 11 shots behind Thai Paphangkorn Tavatanakit, who had a 287 after a 69.(pr)

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