DEBUTING pro Cyna Rodriguez lived up to the hype and seized control with a three-under 69, while Jayvie Agojo recovered from a slow start by birdying the last four holes to salvage an even par 72 at the start of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Eagle Ridge leg in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Rodriguez made her charge at the back by birdying the first two holes. She dropped a shot on the par-4 14th on an errant approach shot but bounced back with back-to-back birdies from No. 16 to turn in an impressive 36-33 card.
Agojo had a 40 on the front nine and was already six strokes off the pace after 13 holes, but found her rhythm in the closing holes of the Aoki course. The 32 on the homeward nine put her back on track for a crack at her first-ever pro crown after a pair of fifth place finishes in the first two legs at The Country Club and Canlubang.
“I made a bad shot on No. 14 but overall I played steady and that’s what I intend to do this week,” said Rodriguez, the 2010 Philippine Ladies Open champion who closed out her amateur career with back-to-back victories in Sacramento and Long Beach last month.
She birdied Nos. 10 and 11 inside six feet then knocked in a 24-foot putt on the 16th before ramming a four-footer on the next.
“I can’t aim well and missed some short putts in the early going but I adjusted by picking good targets at the back,” said Agojo, winner of the Philippine Ladies Open at Manila Golf in 2005.
Lovelynn Guioguio rallied at the back with a 35, hitting three birdies in the last seven holes for a two-over 74, five shots off Rodriguez.
Apple Fudolin failed to keep in step with Rodriguez and Agojo in the featured flight and shot a 76 for fourth spot in the third leg of the circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Anya Tanpinco, a former Southern Ladies Open champion, made two 39s for a 78, while former Philippine Ladies Open winner Heidi Chua made a birdie-less 79 to share sixth place with Sarah Jane Ababa, who had nines of 41-38.
Reb Bareng and Tracy Que both scored 80s and will have a lot of catching up to do heading to the last two days of the 54-hole tournament backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.