Cyna Rodriguez went on a roller-coaster finish coming off a rain-delayed round, salvaging an even par 72 and clinging to a one-shot lead over a charging Dottie Ardina and Princess Superal and Miya Legapsi in the second round of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in Canlubang yesterday.
Rodriguez made two birdies against two bogeys in the last six holes when play was resumed after a 20-minute delay due to heavy rain and lightning, but her 72 proved enough to keep her on top with a 36-hole haul of three-under 141.
But the 2010 Philippine Ladies Open champion will need more than guts, luck and steady putting to hold off her fancied final round rivals and make history as the first amateur winner of the first-ever ladies pro tour sponsored by ICTSI.
“I’m happy to maintain my lead but I have to improve on my putting tomorrow (today),” said Rodriguez, who chipped in for birdie on No. 1 but shanked her approach shot on the par-4 No, 7 and wound up with a double-bogey after twice lipping out for par and bogey.
She also flubbed a six-footer for par on the tough final hole and missed taking a two-shot cushion in the final round of the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Ardina, who needed an eagle on No. 14 to save a 72 in the first round, made a late charge of three birdies in the first five holes at the back, but missed catching Rodriguez at helm with a missed-green bogey on No. 15. Still, her two-under 70 and a 142 kept her on track for a grand pro debut in the P500,000 tournament backed by Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.
“No luck in putting, there were good rolls but the putts didn’t go in,” rued Ardina, who hit four birdies, including a tap-in on No. 14 after her eagle putt from eight feet lipped out.
But Superal, another amateur out to upstage the pros in this kickoff leg of the five-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., rebounded strong from an opening 73 with the day’s best score of three-under 69, tying Ardina and completing a blockbuster final group today.
“I have to lessen putting mistakes to get a chance (for the title),” said Superal, who gunned down five birdies inside seventh feet but mishit her drive on No. 7 and went out of regulation on the 18th for her two bogeys.
Legaspi also totaled a 142, ramming in a clutch birdie on No. 14 and making a run of pars as the 14-year-old amateur likewise stayed in the hunt with a gutsy 72. She, however, will join Jayvie Agojo and Lovelynn Guioguio in the second-to-last group.
After a sterling 70, Agojo lost her touch and skied to a 76, dropping to 146, five shots behind Rodriguez, while Guioguio matched par 72 for a 147.
Amateur Sam Bruce carded a 76 and dropped to 150 in a tie with Sarah Ababa, who shot a second 75 for a 150, while Harmie Constantino, another amateur, hobbled with a 77 for a 151 in a tie with ICTSI amateur Pauline del Rosario, who made a 76, and Anya Tanpinco, who limped home with an 80.
Mary Grace Estuesta recovered with a 77 after an 82 but remained way behind at 159, the same score by amateur Annika Cedo, who shot a78, while Heidi Chua struggled with an 82 after a 77 and dropped to 160 in a tie with Lina de Guzman, who made a second straight 80.
“I’m happy with my first day 82 considering I haven’t been playing competitive golf in a while,” said Estuesta, a former three-time Philippine Ladies Open champion.(pr)