GRETCHEN Villacencio hit an eagle and submitted a two-under 70 on Thursday to keep a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Classic at Riviera’s Couples course in Silang, Cavite.
Villacencio is at 139, while Princess Superal remained in second after also firing a 70.
“I’ve been playing pretty well – from driving, irons and putting,” said Villacencio.
She missed five fairways and three greens but made eagle-three on No. 7 off a 240-yard drive and a superb approach shot that sailed over 220 yards and landed six feet off the cup.
Villacencio bogeyed the next but recovered the stroke with a birdie on No. 13.
“I know she’ll (Superal) bounce back tomorrow. But I’ll be ready and will just try to enjoy my game to ease up the pressure,” said Villacencio, who honed her skills at Fernando Airbase in Lipa, Batangas.
Superal, eyeing a second straight Ladies Philippine Golf Tour title after winning by a record 16 strokes last week at Tagaytay Highlands, opened with back-to-back birdies and hit more birdies on Nos. 7 and 12 before suffering bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17 for a second 70.
Cyna Rodriguez, three behind Villacencio at the start of the day, fired the day’s best round of 69for a 141 total.
Korean amateur golfer Kim Hee Ji shot a 73 and dropped to fourth at 143 in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Hwang Min-jeong, the other Korean amateur and one of the pre-tournament favorites after dominating the Philippine Amateur Open in January also at Riviera, shot a 71 and joined Chihiro Ikeda and Filipino amateurs Mafy Singson and Missy Legaspi at fifth at 147.
Ikeda, winner at Eagle Ridge last month, had a 71, Singson rallied with a 70 while Legaspi struggled with a 76 in the tournament backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.