LIPA, Batangas: Cyna Rodriguez rode on a fiery backside stint to whisk off Jayvie Agojo and storm to a three-stroke lead with a 69 and into the threshold of a third victory in the season in the P500,000 International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Mt. Malarayat Ladies Classic at Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club’s on Thursday.
Pressed by Agojo at the turn, Rodriguez unleashed a strong finishing kick with three birdies in the last nine holes for a 33 that put the reigning Order of Merit champion, who bucked poor putting to card a 72 in the first round Wednesday, on a familiar place at 141.
“I was on target with my drives and my putting was okay,” said Rodriguez after moving 18 holes away from scoring a follow-up to her runaway victories at the Orchard and John Hay legs of this year’s ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Agojo, who opened with a 73, hit all but three greens in regulation but just couldn’t sink the putts, making just three out of eight birdie opportunities and settling for a 71 and a 144 in the 54-hole tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
“I could’ve easily shot a 6-under with my great game. I got the right speed and direction but my putts just wouldn’t fall in,” rued Agojo, who birdied Nos. 16 and 17 but flubbed a 10-foot putt for par on the 18th to fall behind by three.
Thai Amolkan Phalajivin struggled with a slight arm injury in the early going but battled back with closing back-to-back birdies to salvage a 73 and move to third at 146, five strokes off Rodriguez.