Cyna Rodriguez went on an early birdie-binge to shoot a four-under 68 in windy condition, repelling Thai Amolkan Phalajivin and Jayvie Agojo’s token challenge but finding a slew of amateurs as her pursuers at the start of the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite.
Reigning US Girls Junior champion Princess Superal overcame a two-over card after five holes with four birdies in the last 13 holes to fire a two-under 70 and lead five other amateurs chasing Rodriguez as the pros either stumbled in tough condition or in poor form in the P750,000 event serving as the final leg of the eight-stage ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Pauline del Rosario, Superal’s teammate at ICTSI stable and in the Asian Games squad and the team that won the Santi Cup in Brunei, birdied the 18th to card a one-under 71 for solo third while Sam Martirez and Korean Seong Eun Jeong matched par 72s and Sofia Chabon, another amateur from Team ICTSI, turned in a 73 for solo sixth.
Anya Tanpinco, the former amateur standout, emerged as the next best-placed pro at 74, tying amateurs Yuka Saso and Harmie Constantino as Phalajivin, who stopped Rodriguez’s three-win run with a victory at LPGT Splendido last September, hobbled with six bogeys with only a birdie to show for a 77.
“I’ll try to give chase and put myself within the top three in the final round,” said Tanpinco, who hit two birdies against four bogeys.
Agojo, who won the second leg at Riviera, hit two birdies but fumbled with six bogeys and a double-bogey and limped with a 78, 10 strokes off Rodriguez, who bucked the early morning gusts and rattled off three-straight birdies from No. 3 to wrest control.
“It’s oddly windy in the morning and that altered some of our shots,” said Rodriguez, who gunned down two more birdies at the back to negate a missed-green bogey on No. 13.