THAILAND’S Pavarisa Yoktuan emerged from the shadows of her more illustrious compatriots, taking the early lead in the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic on Wednesday at the Splendido Taal Golf Club.
Yoktuan fired a three-under 69, making three straight birdies from No. 9 and gunning down two more on Nos. 6 and 15 to negate her bogey mishaps on Nos. 8 and 13.
She held a one-stroke lead over Dottie Ardina and Korean amateur Kim Hee Ji, putting her title bid in motion after a third place finish in last week’s ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational won by Chihiro Ikeda.
Ardina looked headed for an explosive start, getting to four under early but suffering bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18.
Kim, on the other hand, had a shaky finish and hit bogey on her final hole.
Another Thai bet, Thanuttra Boonraksasat bounced back from an opening hole bogey with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 10 but dropped a stroke on No. 14 and settled for a 71 for solo fourth in the fourth leg of this year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., which drew 39 players.
Kanyalak Preedasuttijit and Chatprapa Siriprakob, also of Thailand, carded 73s.
Pauline del Rosario, last season’s top earner on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, failed to recover from her two bogeys in the first four holes, missing a couple of birdie putts but saving a number of pars to turn in a 74 for joint seventh with Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun and Thanya Pattamakijsakul, Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong and Ikeda.
Thailand’s Yupaporn Kawinpakorn winner of the Beverly Ladies Classic last month, also struggled, fumbling with three bogeys in a birdie-less 75 that tied her with three-time LPGT champion Cyna Rodriguez, who bogeyed two of the last three holes.
Princess Superal also wavered at the finish, finishing with back-to-back bogeys for 76 and a share of 14th with Thailand’s Mookharin Ladgratoc and Saruttaya Ngam-usawan and Korean amateur Lee Ji-Hyeon in the tournament backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.