LIPA CITY, Batangas – Dottie Ardina moved in the threshold of a breakthrough victory in the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open 2013 as she shot the day’s best score of 72 in severe condition at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club after two rounds.
Ardina came in virtually unruffled by the wind that blew from all over yesterday that sent the scores soaring and first round leader Jayvie Agojo tumbling with a fat 81.
The top ICTSI-The Country Club bet, winner of last week’s Philippine Amateur, made three birdies against the same number of bogeys, including a three-putt miscue on No. 16, for that 72 and a two-stroke lead over Thai Supamas Sangchan.
Counting her 71 Wednesday, the 18-year-old Ardina, also the reigning Taiwan and Penang Am champion, pooled a 143 and moved closer to a first-ever title win in the country’s premier ladies golf championship presented by Champion Infinity that has eluded her for years.
“I need to putt well Friday to win although the wind will be a big factor,” said Ardina, who flaunted awesome shotmaking and iron game to hit all but two greens.
But it won’t be easy.
Out to foil Ardina’s bid in the event organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Phils. are Sangchan, who carded a 75 to assume the challenger’s role at 145, while erstwhile second-running Michell Koh of Malaysia hobbled with a 76 to drop to joint third at 146 with another Thai Benyapa Niphatsophon, who also shot a 75.
“It will all boil down to putting as Sangchan and Koh are just two and three strokes behind,” said ICTSI team coach Bong Lopez. “But another even par round under such windy condition will make Dottie a runaway winner.”
Clare Legaspi made a brave run of pars at the back to shoot out a 73 and moved to solo fifth at 147, four strokes adrift, while Lovelynn Guioguio, third placer last year at Wack Wack, made a 76 for a 148 in the event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Coca Cola, Duty Free Phils., Pacsports with support from the Department of Tourism.
Princess Superal turned in a 75 but stood six shots behind at 149 while Agojo failed to sustain a fine 69 start with an 81 to slip to joint ninth at 150 with Suthavee Chanachai (76) and Shei Santiwiwatthanaphong (77) of Thailand and Pauline del Rosario (74).
Bianca Pagdanangan scored a 78 for a 166 as she grabbed a two-shot lead over first round leader Gaby Monfort (83-168) and Inez del Rosario (82-168) in Class A with Malaysian Sity Zulaikhaa at 170 after an 84.
Korean Olive Yoon rallied with an 86 likewise surge ahead in Class B at 181, two strokes ahead of erstwhile leader Frances Bawal, who made a 91 for a 183 while Meenah Fong of Singapore moved to third at 186 after a 93.