Former amateur hotshot Pauline del Rosario finally nailed a win on her fourth try in the pros, bucking an early scare from Thai Nemittra Juntanaket then coasting to a trouble-free five-stroke romp over amateur Eagle Ace Superal in the ICTSI Orchard Ladies Invitational at Orchard’s Player course in Dasmariñas, Cavite yesterday.
Del Rosario hit two birdies against a bogey to close out with a 71 for a 218 as the 18-year-old shotmaker banked her biggest earning in a young pro career – P250,000 – after a couple of runner-up finishes on late meltdowns, including a playoff setback to Korean Euna Koh at Luisita last April.
She looked headed for another shaky finish after Juntanaket, two down after 36 holes, pressed her bid and pulled to within one after the second hole up to the 11th. But while the Filipina ace kept her poise and came away with gutsy pars and a birdie on No. 14, the Thai faltered with a double-bogey on No. 11 and bowed out with four bogeys in the last six holes.
Juntanaket wound up with a 77 for a 226, enabling the 12-year-old Superal to snatch the runner-up honors at 223 after a 73 built around four birdies against three bogeys and a double-bogey.
“I really felt bad losing at Luisita. But I had good week here and so happy to have finally scored a win,” said Del Rosario, a former Philippine Ladies Open champion and winner of various amateur titles abroad.
Unable to shake off the Thai majority of the way, Del Rosario cashed in on Juntanaket’s three-putt miscue for a double-bogey on the par-3 11th and pulled away with a six-foot birdie on No. 14.
“The turning point was when Juntanaket made that double-bogey. It was smooth sailing from there,” she said.
Alisara Wedchakama bogeyed the last two holes and ended up with a 75 to drop to joint third with Juntanaket although the two Thais split the second and third prizes and earned P102,500 each.
Superal, the young sister of many-time Ladies Philippine Golf Tour winner and Symetra Tour campaigner, Princess, ran away with the amateur honors in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Numa Gulyanamitta, also of Thailand, matched par 72 for a 227 while Indonesian Jessica Lydia skied to a 79 for a 229. Former leg winner Sarah Ababa also limped with a 77 for a 230 while amateur Sam Bruce hobbled with a 79 for a 231.
Thai Suchaya Tangkamolprasert fumbled with an 81 and fell to ninth at 232 while former leg champion Cristina Corpus made a 77 and finished tied for 10th with last year’s winner Chihiro Ikeda, who carded a 78, at 233.