LOVELYNN Guioguio birdied Nos. 16 and 17 for a two-under 70 and a three-stroke lead in the rainy first round of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour on Tuesday at the North course of the Canlubang Golf and Country Club in Laguna.
Guioguio seized control early with birdie on No. 2, went back to even with her lone bogey on No. 13 before pulling away from the field in the closing holes.
The women’s champion in the Philippine Amateur Open last year came up with nines of 35-35 and wound up three strokes clear of Dottie Ardina and amateur Princess Superal, who finished 1-2 in last month’s kickoff leg of the first-ever ladies pro circuit sponsored by ICTSI at The Country Club.
Jayvie Agojo birdied the last hole to salvage a two-over 74 and share fourth spot with amateur Bernice Olivares-Ilas.
“I was just lucky today. My driving is quite okay and my good short game compensated for my poor iron shots,” said Guioguio, a former member of the ICTSI amateur team.
Sam Bruce, a 12-year-old amateur, just missed taking solo second spot after double-bogeys in the last two holes, dropping to 76 with Barsy Leonen.
Chihiro Ikeda back on the local golf scene after a year-long campaign in Japan, struggled with a 40 on her first nine and finished with a 77.
Others at five-over were Anya Tanpinco, Sarah Jane Ababa, Apple Fudolin and amateur Harmie Constantino.
Mary Grace Estuesta, a former Philippine Ladies Open champion, carded a 78 and was in a tie with amateur Pauline del Rosario of Team ICTSI.
Lucy Landicho struggled with a 79 in a tie with amateurs Mika Fortuna and 15-year-old Nikki Bruce, who humbled the pros by topping the recent LPGT qualifier of the inaugural five-leg circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.
Ardina struggled with her putting all day. She was two over after 12 holes but gunned down birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 before dropping a stroke on the par-5 17th.
“The greens are tough to read and I couldn’t putt,” rued Ardina.
Superal, the reigning Singapore Amateur Open champion, also hopes to bounce back after a so-so round featuring one birdie and two bogeys.