AMATEUR player Bernice Olivarez-Ilas carded a one-under 70 for a three-stroke lead in the second round of ICTSI Beverly Place Challenge in Mexico, Pampanga yesterday.
The 14-year-old Ilas, two strokes off the Chihiro Ikeda after one round, moved up by two on a three-shot swing birdie on the par-3 No. 12 then pulled away by three as Ikeda bogeyed the par-5 14th.
“I’ll just take it one shot at a time but I must stay focused all throughout the final round tomorrow (today),” said Ilas, who rolled in a birdie putt from 30 feet on No. 12 then watched Ikeda miss the green and end up with a three-putt mishap for a 5.
With a one-under 141, Ilas, a La Salle-Zobel student who won at the same course last week during the The Junior Golf League tournament, looks to join Princess Superal in the list of amateur stars to win on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Ikeda, who carded a 75 for a 144 total, vowed to fight back, stressing the need to play better iron shots and make putts.
“I struggled with my irons, most ending up in trouble and I missed a lot of greens. But there are still 18 holes left, I just have to minimize my mistakes,” said Ikeda.
Sam Martirez joined Ikeda at second by matching Ilas’ 70 on a fiery windup that featured three birdies in the last six holes.
Malaysian amateur Kellie Kan carded a 72 to tie former Philippine Ladies Open winner Jayvie Agojo, who also put in a 72, at 147.
Martirez looked headed for a disastrous finish after going two-over after 10 holes, but she birdied No. 13 then gained two more strokes on Nos. 16 and 18 to wheel back into contention in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade and Pacsports, sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.