CYNA Rodriguez hit three back-nine birdies for a 69 and a three-stroke lead after the second round of the P500,000 ICTSI Mt. Malarayat Ladies Classic on Thursday at Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club’s in Lipa, Batangas.
Winner of two of the first three tournaments this season, Rodriguez put herself in position to take a third title with a 36-hole total of 141.
“I was on target with my drives and my putting was okay,” said Rodriguez, looking to add to her victories at the Orchard and John Hay legs of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
Agojo, who opened with a 73, hit all but three greens in regulation but just couldn’t sink the putts, making just three out of eight birdie opportunities and settling for a 71 and a 144 in the 54-hole tournament.
“I could’ve easily shot a 6-under with my great game. I got the right speed and direction but my putts just wouldn’t fall in,” rued Agojo, who birdied Nos. 16 and 17 but flubbed a 10-foot putt for par on the 18th to fall behind by three.
Thailand’s Amolkan Phalajivin struggled with a slight arm injury early but closed with back-to-back birdies to salvage a 73 and move to third at 146.
“I was on the range Wednesday when I felt it. My arm was hurting and sometimes becomes numb. I thought it was nothing but when I woke up, the pain was still there,” said Phalajivin, who had five bogeys against four birdies and headed straight to a hospital after turning in her scorecard.
First-round leader Chihiro Ikeda limped with a 76 with a bad back, tumbling to fourth place at 147, while Korea’s Kwon Seo Yon had a 74 for a 148.
“When I execute a shot, it is really painful. It was not much of a problem in the first round but today it was. I hope the pain goes away in the final round,” said Ikeda.
Sarah Ababa had a 75 for sixth place at 150, while amateur Angela de Villa fired a 72 for joint seventh with Lovelynn Guioguio, who carded a 74 for a 151 in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.