Pauline del Rosario stamped her class over Thai Kanyalak Preedasutthijit and two other local bets as she turned in a three-under 69 to tie the hot-starting Pimnipa Panthong, also of Thailand, in the first round of the 2015 Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club on Wednesday.
Del Rosario bucked the slow greens that bedeviled the games of some of the fancied bets as she gunned down five birdies but missed grabbing the solo lead with a bogey on the 17th.
That enabled Pimnipa to gain a shared view of the top with the 18-year-old former Malaysian Ladies Open champion highlighting her 35-34 round with a spectacular approach shot from 80s yards on No. 6 that went in for eagle. She also had five birdies but fumbled with four bogeys.
“The greens were very slow,” rued Pimnipa, eyeing to extend Thailand’s domination of the event, organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines and sponsored by Metro Pacific Investments Corp., after now-pro Supamas Sangchan won the last two staging at Mt. Malarayat and Forest Hills.
Earlier, Del Rosario came out smoking with a five-footer for birdie on the first hole and negated a bogey mishap on the fourth with back-to-back birdies spiked by a chip-in on No. 6.
She added two birdies in the first five holes at the back but failed to return a six-foot par putt on the 17th for that 69.
Preedasutthijit, winner of last year’s Thailand Amateur Open, turned in a 71 to share third spot with former Asian Youth Games gold medalist Miya Legaspi, who blew a three-under card with a double-bogey on the final hole on a plugged ball in the bunker.
The fancied Superal struggled on the slow greens of Wack Wack’s West course and hobbled with a two-over 74, marred by a three-putt miscue on No. 10 as the reigning US Girls Junior champion fell by five with 36 holes left in the event backed by Mega Fiber, the Philippine Golf Tour, PacSports and Shell Philippines and C2 as official beverage and Vermogen as official apparel.
Young Yuka Saso matched Superal’s two-over par card while Annika Cedo carded a 75 followed by Kayla Nocum with a 76 and the other Thai bet Wangmahaporn Chayanit, who limped with a 77 in a tie with Harmie Constantino and Sam Martirez.