CHIHIRO Ikeda fired a one-under 71 for a two-stroke lead over Sarah Ababa and Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong in the first round of the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship on Tuesday at Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite.
Ikeda, a former amateur hotshot still in search of a breakthrough win on the Philippine Golf Tour, was at two-under card through eight holes but suffered back-to-back bogeys from No. 9.
But the former SEA Games gold medalist birdied the par-3 16th to get back under par.
Ababa birdied Nos. 7 and 8 but fumbled with three straight bogeys from No. 15 and ended up with a 73.
Hwang hit birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 but bogeyed the next two.
Apple Fudolin had a 74 for solo fourth, while Anya Tanpinco bogeyed No. 14 and dropped two strokes on the 18th for a 75.
Amy Phalajivin of Thailand, Cyna Rodriguez and Korea’s Kim So Un shot 76s to share sixth spot.
Cristina Corpus of the US was in ninth after a 77, a stroke ahead of Korean amateur Koh Eu Na and local amateur Felicia Medalla.