Pauline del Rosario fumbled with a double-bogey on the tricky No. 17 and blew a two-shot edge with a 73, dropping to joint lead with Thai Saruttaya Ngam-usawan after two rounds of the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite on Wednesday.
Del Rosario survived the rainy, windy condition and birdied No. 16 to move 2-up over erstwhile leader Ngam-usawan only to overshoot the overlooking par-3, 155-yard 17th into the flowerbed.
She barely played out and putted through the sloping surface that rolled outside the green. She made it in four and one-putted for that 5.
That enabled Ngam-usawan to stay on top with the Filipina ace at 143 despite a birdie-less 74, setting the stage for a fierce final round showdown for the coveted crown in the P750,000 event sponsored by ICTSI.
But it won’t be a one-on-one duel as amateur Abby Arevalo joined the championship group, just a stroke of the duo at 144 after a gutsy even par 71.
The Country Club bet also missed grabbing the lead with a wind-blown double-bogey on the final hole.
“Despite that double-bogey on 17th, I’m happy to be sharing the lead,” said Del Rosario, who moved 18 holes away from a third straight championship after topping the Orchard and Baguio legs of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“The rain hardly affected our game but the wind, which made club selection a lot more difficult,” added Del Rosario.
Ngam-usawan, who scored a breakthrough at the Royal Northwoods leg of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour late last year, also came in ruffled by the wind and rued a couple of missed birdie opportunities to settle for a 36-38 card.
Thai Chatprapa Siriprakob shot the day’s lone subpar round of 70 on a two-birdie, one-bogey feat to move three strokes off the joint leaders at 146 while compatriot Tiranan Yoopan carded a second straight 74 for fifth at 148.
Reigning Philippine Ladies Open champion Bianca Pagdanganan also blew her charge with a shaky finish, dropping four strokes in the last five holes, marred by a double-bogey on No. 14. She wound up with a 76 for joint sixth with Thai Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, who also limped with a 76, at 150, seven shots off the pace.
Kristine Torralba, the other rising amateur, rebounded from an opening 79 with a one-over 72 for eighth at 151 while Thais Supakchaya Pattarankrueng and Jaruporn Na Ayutthaya took the next two spots at 152 and 154 with 78 and 76, respectively, in the event backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.