SARAH Ababa, looking to make up for her poor performance in the Santi Cup, sizzled with a five-under 66 to open a two-stroke lead over Cyna Rodriguez at the start of the Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championships Wednesday at the Discovery Bay Golf Club.
Ababa, who failed to count in all four days in the ladies side of the Southeast Asian Amateur Golf Championship in Indonesia last week, suddenly showed top form and found the par-71 layout to her liking, making six birdies against a bogey in windy conditions.
“I really feel good about my game today,” said Ababa, who bucked a bogey on No. 2 with birdies on Nos. 4, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 17, all inside six feet. “But it was my recovery on the fairways and greens that keyed my solid round.”
Rodriguez, meanwhile, carded a three-under 68 on five birdies against two bogeys as she took second place even as defending champion Jayvie Agojo struggled a bit with an even par 72 to find herself in joint eighth with Thai Chayant Wangmahaporn.
Ababa hit 10 fairways and made greens in regulation 14 times while coming up with just 26 putts while Rodriguez missed just one fairway and hit the greens 12 times while finishing with 27 putts.
Another Thai bet, Kamonwan Luemsri shot a 69 to grab solo third while Daniella Uy turned in a 70 for fourth followed by local bet Tiffany Chan, Thai Benyapa Niphatsophoin and another Hong Kong ace Michelle Cheung carded identical 71s.
Agojo, who came from behind to beat Malaysia’s Kelly Tan in the countback and capture the Santi Cup individual crown, failed to recover from a poor start although she fought back from one-over at the turn to finish at level par.
Lovelynn Guioguio had a 76 while Princess Superal, who placed fourth in the Santi Cup after leading the third round, had an 81.