Pauline del Rosario struggled with her long game and hobbled with a wind-raked 73 but still doubled her four-stroke lead over Chihiro Ikeda as the rest fumbled in the second round of the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic at Taal Splendido Golf Club in Tagaytay on Wednesday.
Del Rosario bogeyed two of the first four holes and though she rebounded with two birdies linking both nines, the winner of three of the last five legs of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour hit an errant drive on No. 14 and made a double bogey before birdying the par-3 17th for a 37-36 card.
Counting her opening 68, Del Rosario pooled a three-under 141 and looked headed to surpassing her huge seven-stroke romp over Princess Superal and Thai Tirana Yoopan at Pradera Verde last August in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI as her rivals failed to mount any challenge in tough condition.
Ikeda, winner at Forest Hills last month who rallied with a backside 32 to save a 72 Tuesday, never recovered from a bogey-bogey start, finishing with a 77 marred by a double bogey on No. 11 for a 149.
Cyna Rodriguez, the former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner, rallied from six down to within three with back-to-back birdies from No. 10. But the LPGA Tour veteran dropped five strokes in a four-hole stretch from No. 13 and ended up with a 76.
She stayed at third at 150 in a tie with Thai Chonlada Chayanun, who fought back from an opening 40 to card a 75, while Princess Superal turned in the day’s best score of 72 but still lay 11 strokes off Del Rosario heading to the final 18 holes of the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I still struggled with my driver and hope to correct those mistakes by playing smarter tomorrow (today),” said Del Rosario, hoping to reach peak form in time for the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters at The Country Club in two weeks time.
“Though I’m up by eight, I still have to play my best,” she added.
Korean Euna Koh, winner at Luisita last April, shot a 75 for joint sixth at 153 with Wannasiri Sirisampant of Thailand, a playoff loser to Ikeda at Forest Hills who fired two birdies at the back to salvage a 74.
Gretchen Villacencio skied to a 78 for a 154 while Thais Ananya Vitayakonkomol and Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro assembled 156 and 157 after a 78 and 75, respectively, in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.