Pauline del Rosario scores third title in her rookie season with victory at LPGT Pradera
Pauline del Rosario wins in Lubao after victories in Cavite and Baguio. 

PAULINE del Rosario fired a final-round 71 to score a seven-stroke victory in the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic on Thursday at the Pradera Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.

Del Rosario nearly blew a three-stroke lead with an early bogey and a birdie by Princess Superal on No. 4 but recovered with back-to-back birdies from No. 15 and wound up with 54-hole total of nine-under 209.

Superal pulled to within one with a birdie on No. 4 and after Del Rosario dropped a stroke on the third. But she failed to sustain her charge in the wind, bogeying No. 6 then falling farther behind with another bogey on No. 14 and double-bogey on the par-3 No. 15.

Superal wound up with a 75 for a 214 and settled for joint runner-up with Thailand’s Tirapan Yoopan, who missed snatching solo second with a double-bogey on the final hole for a 74.

It was the third title for Del Rosario after winning in Cavite and Baguio.

“I knew Ces can win at any given day, even at the last minute. But the wind was my toughest challenge, it’s too strong,” said Del Rosario.

“I told myself that if I could play through it (wind), I could win so I took it one shot at a time and went for the fairway and the green.”

Cyna Rodriguez, on a break from the Symetra Tour with Superal, fired the day’s only other 71 to claim fourth place at 215 while Chihiro Ikeda carded a 74 for a 222 for fifth spot in the seventh leg of the eighth-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Sofia Chabon shot to a 77 for a 226, giving The Country Club player the low amateur honors as teammate and last year’s LPGT Beverly Place leg champion Bernice Olivarez-Ilas limped with an 82 and dropped to seventh at 229.

Apple Fudolin shot a 78 for a 231 for eighth while Korea’s Euna Koh, winner at Luisita, shot a 76 for 234 for ninth.

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Gretchen Villacencio hobbled with an 85 for a 237 for 10th in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.

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