CHONLADA Chayanun birdied two of the last four holes for a 69 to share the lead with two other Thais, while Princess Superal and Chihiro Ikeda stood just a stroke off after the first round of the ICTSI Beverly Place Ladies Classic in Mexico, Pampanga.
Mookharin Ladgratok and Ornnicha Konsunthea also hit late birdies to match Chayanun’s two-under par effort at the short but tricky par-71 layout.
Ladgratok checked a bogey-bogey skid from No. 15 with a birdie on the 17th while Konsunthea birdied the par-5 closing hole.
“The pin placements are difficult, placed near the edge of the greens,” said Chayanun, who also bucked the wind that blew from various directions that bedeviled the games of the other fancied players in the fold.
Ikeda birdied the closing hole to cap a roller-coaster round, while Superal had a pair of 35s made up four birdies against three bogeys.
“You have to be precise with your approach shots to get a chance for birdies,” said Superal.
Dottie Ardina and Pauline del Rosario rebounded late to wheel back into contention after shaky starts.
Ardina, using the event as part of her final buildup for her LPGA Tour campaign starting next month in Australia, dropped strokes on Nos. 7 and 8 birdied No. 16 to save a 72.
Del Rosario struck back from a double bogey on No. 6 and a bogey on the 13th with birdies in the last two holes.