THAILAND’S Chamchoi Saraporn came up with an even-par 72 for a two-stroke lead over Sarah Ababa in the first round of the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge on Wednesday in Tarlac.
Chamchoi got to two under after eight holes but hit two bogeys, including on the par-4 No. 18, but that was still enough to put her ahead of the pack and in position to win after after runner-up finishes at Splendido and Wack Wack.
Ababa bogeyed both par-5s on the back nine, and dropped another stroke on the tough par-3 17th and wound up with a 74.
Still, that put her in the hunt for a second straight crown after scoring a breakthrough at LPGT Sherwood last month.
Cristina Corpus of the US bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 for an opening 75 in the 54-hole tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Thailand’s Amolkan Phalijivin and Pattaranakrueang Supakchaya joined Corpus in third place.
Phalajivin, winner at Splendido last year, had nines of 38-37, while Supakchaya posted 35-40.
Satarak Walailak bogeyed Nos. 14 and 15 on the way to a 76 for solo sixth as the Thais poised to dominate the P500,000 event.
Lina de Guzman hardly recovered from a bogey-marred 41 with a 37 for a 78 in a tie with Lovelynn Guioguio, who was just one-over through 12 holes but made three straight bogeys from No. 13 and dropped two strokes on the 16th.
Jayvie Agojo also failed to check an early skid, recording a first nine 43 and limping with an 80 in a tie with Apple Fudolin in the tournament backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers, Sharp and Champion Infinity.