The Philippines rallied with a three-under 141 coming off a long fog delay to seize second place but Korea sizzled in the rain and wind and shot a 10-under 134 to all but nail another Queen Sirikit Cup title with a huge 14-stroke lead after two rounds of play at the Ora Country Club in Jeju, South Korea on Thursday.
Pauline del Rosario bucked an ankle injury and birdied two of the last three holes to fire a two-under 70 while Yuka Saso fought back from a two-over card at stoppage with three birdies in the last 12 holes to shoot a 71.
But Princess Superal turned a bit colder after opening with a 35, missing a number of birdie chances at the back and fumbling with a bogey on the 17th. The Country Club ace didn’t count with a 72.
From fourth, the Women’s Golfers Association of the Philippines-backed squad moved past New Zealand and China to wrest second at 288, counting their first round 147 but headed for another runner-up finish as the hosts turned in stirring rounds despite wet condition.
“They’re (Koreans) simply good but we could’ve gained some grounds had Cess (Superal) made her birdie putts at the back. Pau and Yuka also flubbed a couple of chances,” said coach Bong Lopez, looking forward to a final round duel with the fancied hosts.
Superal takes on Lee Gayoung and New Zealand’s Alanna Campbell, Del Rosario slugs it out with Park Hyun-Kung and Chantelle Cassidy while Saso tangles with Choi Hye-jin and Munchin Keh in the last three flights in the final round today.
Choi sizzled in the rain and wind and blasted in a 65 (35-32) while defending individual champion Park strung up a 69 as the Koreans pulled away at 274 going to the final 18 holes of the annual event, also known as the Asia-Pacific Amateur Ladies Golf Team Championship which they have ruled eight times in the last nine years.
So awesome were the hosts that Lee’s 69, which could easily anchored another team’s bid, didn’t count, giving in to Park’s version of a 35-34 card.
The 52 players from 14 nations played in drizzle and cold condition early morning and struggled to hit their shots and stroke their putts as the wind lashed from varied directions. Fog then enveloped half of the up-and-down layout at the foot of Mount Halla as the last flight, which included Superal, headed to No. 4, forcing the organizers to halt play.
But it took close to four hours before the course cleared although the Koreans kept their hot form at resumption, coming through with solid iron shots that set up a number of birdie opportunities on the softened putting surface.
Saso dropped two shots after five holes but birdied No. 7 then strung up back-to-back birdies from No. 15, missing a fourth one on the closing hole from seven feet.?She moved up from No. 5 to third in the individual race with 143 but stood seven shots off Choi, who assembled a 136, two clear off Park, while Del Rosario, who birdied the first two par-5s, also improved from a share of 11th to joint sixth at 145.
New Zealand put in a second straight 145 and dropped to third at 290 while Australia matched the Phl’s 141 and moved to joint fourth at 291 with Taiwan, which also assembled a 141.
China never recovered from a so-so start and limped with a 148 and fell to sixth at 293 while Malaysia carded a 142 for a 295 followed by Thailand (144-297), India (149-300), Japan (146-301), Hong Kong (151-304), Singapore (151-308), Indonesia (152-313) and Myanmar (157-321).