WICHANEE Meechai birdied two of the last four holes to fire a three-under-par 69 for a four-stroke lead after the first round of the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Invitational on Wednesday at Splendido Taal Golf Club in Tagaytay.
Meechai, who has played on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour, hit three bogeys but made six birdies, the last two on Nos. 15 and 16.
Pennapa Pulsawath was at two under but made a bogey, double-bogey finish for a 73.
Sarah Ababa started with a birdie and held on with pars but collapsed at the end of a windy day, bogeying the last three holes for a 74 to sit five shots off the pace.
Anya Tanpinco birdied No. 17 to salvage a two-over card and tie Ababa at fourth.
Chihiro Ikeda recovered from a disastrous 40 on the front with two birdies against a bogey in the last nine holes for a 75 and solo fifth spot in the P500,000 tournament serving as the second leg of the eight-stage ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Cyna Rodriguez made an atrocious 9 on the par-4 No. 4 on the way to an eight-over 80, her worst card on the circuit she has dominated the past two years.
An errant drive led to several more bad shots and Rodriguez reached the green in seven and two-putted for that quintuple bogey. She never recovered, stumbling with four more bogeys.
Titleholder Amolkan Phalajivin hit four birdies but made five bogeys and two double bogeys for a 77.
She shared sixth place with fellow Thais Saraporn Chamchoi and Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Korean amateur Hwan Min Jeong, who birdied No. 2 but made four straight bogeys from No. 4.
Annika Cedo and Koh Eu Na of Korea had 81s, while Jayvie Agojo, winner of last year’s second leg at Riviera, shot an 82 in a tie with Lina de Guzman and Thai Walailak Satarak.