THAILAND’s Mookharin Ladgratok birdied two of the last four holes for a three-under 69 and a one-stroke lead in the first round of the ICTSI Champion Tour on Wednesday at Splendido Taal Golf Club.
Ladgratok led compatriot Kanpahnitnan Muanghkumaskul as Filipinas struggled, with Dottie Ardina and amateur Princess Superal the best-placed local players at joint fourth after firing 72s.
Muanghkumaskul hit five birdies but had a double-bogey and a bogey for a 70, while Taiwan’s Chen Yu-ju was alone in third at 71 in the US$75,000 tournament serving as the kickoff leg of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour season and the fifth stage of the Taiwan LPGA Tour sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“I didn’t expect to lead. I just played my game and tried to make the most of my chances,” said the 21-year-old Ladgratok.
Ardina did not have a practice round because of cough and struggled on the greens.
“I had a number of birdie opportunities but hardly knew the speed of the greens since I didn’t have any practice rounds,” said Ardina.
Superal, winner of two events on the LPGT last year, hit back-to-back birdies from No. 11 to make up for missed green bogeys on Nos. 1 and 6.
Mia Piccio shot a 73 to match Fil-Japanese amateur Yuka Saso, pro-am winner Huang Hsien-wen and Yu Pei-lin of Taiwan, Thailand’s Chorphaka and Jaengkit and Koreans Kang Ji-won and Hwang Ye-nah, winner of last year’s ICTSI Ladies Open.
Malaysia’s Aretha Pan, Taiwan’s Weng Liting, Japanese Mayumi Chinzei and TCC’s Kayla Nocum carded 74s, while Korea’s Grace Lee and Thailand’s Saranporn Langkulgasettrin hobbled with 75s.
LPGA Tour campaigner Cyna Rodriguez shot a 76 and tied former SEA Games champion Chihiro Ikeda, Japanese Senno Yasufuku, Lee Tai-Ling of Taiwan and Korea’s Gu Na-eun in the tournament presented by Champion and Taiwan LPGA, organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by adidas, Custom Clubmakers, KZG, TaylorMade, Champion, Summit Natural Drinking Water, Pacsports, Sharp and Rustans Supermarket.