SARAH Ababa shot a bogey-free four-under 68 to take a two-stroke lead over Cyna Rodriguez in the first round of the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Classic on Wednesday at Riviera’s Couples Course in Silang, Cavite.
Ababa took advantage of benign conditions in one of the early flights and strung up two birdies each on both nines while saving pars twice in an impressive outing for the former national team mainstay chasing a breakthrough on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
“I hit solid approach shots, especially from within 100 yards,” said Ababa, who tied for 20th in the ICTSI Ladies Open won by Korea’s Hwang Ye-nah, finished joint second at Splendido behind Thailand’s Meechai Wichanee and tied for sixth at the Wack Wack leg won by amateur ace Princess Superal.
Three flights behind, Rodriguez birdied the par-5 No 16 to move within one off Ababa but dropped a shot farther back after on the 18th.
Agojo, the Riviera title holder, birdied the par-5 11th to go one-under but dropped a stroke on the 15th and ended up with a 72 in a tie with Korean amateur Koh Eu Na, who birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to get into the mix in the early going of the 54-hole tournament serving as the fourth leg of the circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Lovelynn Guioguio, Apple Fudolin and amateur Annika Cedo shots 76s.
Chihiro Ikeda had six bogeys against a lone birdie for a 77 and was tied for eighth with Cristina Corpus of the US and Anya Tanpinco, who hit three birdies in overcast skies but fumbled with six bogeys and a double-bogey.