Sofia Chabon birdied two of the last five holes to shoot a two-under 71 and trail veteran Malaysian campaigner Nur Durriyah Damian by four at the start of the Thailand Ladies Amateur Open at the Legacy Golf Club in Thailand late Tuesday.
Chabon, who helped anchor Manila Southwoods-Masters’ title romp in last week’s PAL Ladies Interclub in Baguio, mixed two birdies with the same number of bogeys at the front the the 15-year-old mainstay of The Country Club team birdied No. 14 from long range and closed out with a tap-in on the par-5 18th to string a 36-35 card at the par-73 Jack Nicklaus-designed layout.
She stood at joint fourth with Thais Tunrada Piddon, Chalakorn Wongsith and Rina Tatematsu, four shots off Damian, who birdied four of the first five holes on her way to a 67.
Pauline del Rosario, last year’s winner of Thailand’s premier amateur championship which lured 67 players from eight countries, failed to recover from a four-bogey struggle at the front, including three straight from No. 2, and limped with a 77, 10 strokes off the pace.
But TCC teammates Bernice Olivarez-Ilas and Kayla Nocum stayed in early contention with a pair of 72s with the former, winner of a pro tournament back home, birdying Nos. 15 and 16 and the latter missing joining Chabon at fourth with a bogey on the 18th.
Mikha Fortuna struggled with a 74 to fall seven shots off Damian.
Over in Florida, Princess Superal bogeyed the tough par-3 17th and carded a one-over 73, five strokes adrift of local bet Maria McBride at the start of the National Women’s GA-Zellwood Classic at the Zellwood Station Country Club, also Tuesday.
Superal, who swept her first two local tournaments as a pro, came through with back-to-back birdies from No. 14 to negate her two bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12 but missed the 17th green and a six-footer for par to settle for a 37-36 card at the hilly layout for joint 11th with 10 others.