Amateur Harmie Constantino put on an amazing show of shotmaking and iron game and outgunned pros Chihiro Ikeda and Thai Chatprapa Siriprakob with a six-under 66 to pad her lead two over Saraporn Chamchoi in the second round of the ICTSI Malarayat Ladies Classic in Lipa, Batangas on Wednesday.
The diminutive Constantino bounced back from a one-over card after seven holes with a stirring seven-birdie feat in the last 11, closing out with a five-under 31 for that 66 and a 137 aggregate counting her opening 71 at the Mt. Malarayat composite course Tuesday.
The emerging star from Bulacan flashed awesome touch off the mound and solid iron play that set up a number of birdie chances, highlighting her sizzling backside stint with a chip-in birdie on the 10th as she overshadowed Chamchoi’s equally solid 67 in a flight ahead.
“I just got lucky,” said the soft-spoken, 15-year-old Constantino, the reigning national champion who is also coming off a victory in the Gary Woodland Championship in the US last month.
Chamchoi, just one behind Constantino at the start of the round, hit just one birdie in a bogey-free frontside to stay a stroke adrift then gunned down four at the back, including on No. 16 that tied her with Constantino in the lead at five-under in the event sponsored by ICTSI.
But after the Thai holed out with two pars, Constantino birdied No. 16 to move on top again and went 2-up with a closing birdie from close range, moving 18 holes away from becoming the third amateur to win this year Bernice Olivarez-Ilas topped the ICTSI Beverly Place Classic last April and Yuka Saso dominated the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational last May.
Still, Chamchoi stayed within striking distance at 139, hopeful of sustaining her bogey-free round and put the pressure on her 15-year-old rival in today’s championship flight with Siriprakob.
Ikeda and Siriprakob wavered in the face of Constantino’s superb game, finishing with identical 72s to drop to third at 144 but fell seven strokes off the leader heading to the final 18 holes of the P750,000 event backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade and Pacsports.
Daniella Uy carded a 73 for a 145 while Chanelle Avaricio missed joining her fellow amateur at fifth with a bogey on the 18th, settling for a 71 and dropping to joint sixth with Jayvie Agojo at 146, nine strokes behind Constantino.
Agojo, winless since scoring a breakthrough at Riviera two years ago, finally found her range, rhythm and played with so much confidence and gunned down three birdies at the front but she stumbled with a bogey on the 10th and parred the rest for a 70.
Sarah Ababa hobbled with a 76 and fell to 150 while Lucy Landicho pooled a 153 after a 77 and last year’s Luisita leg winner Cristina Corpus skied to an 80 and fell to joint 10th at 156 with Apple Fudolin and amateur Marvi Monsalve, who carded a 74 and 78, respectively.