Mia Piccio closed out with three birdies in the last six holes at the front to fire a two-under 70 at the Bobcat course for joint 25th at the start of the LPGA and Symetra Tour Qualifying School-Stage 2 at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida Thursday.
Piccio looked headed for a tough day when she fumbled with three straight birdies from No. 13, negating her six-foot birdie on No. 11. But the Symetra Tour campaigner birdied the 18th, stumbled with a bogey on the first but fought back with birdies on Nos. 4, 6 and 9 to get back into the thick of things.
The ICTSI-backed bet stood just three strokes off Americans Kathleen Ekey and Beth Allen and Australian Hannah Green, who all shot 67s, in the 72-hole elims held at two venues where the top 80 players from a field of 193 will advance to the Final Stage set November 28 to December 4.
Princess Superal, who placed joint second in Stage I in California, also sputtered at the back of the Panther layout that saw her bogey Nos. 13, 17 and 18 after birdying the 12th. But the former US Girls’ Junior champion and F Siblings and PB Farms-backed pro rebounded with birdies on Nos. 1 and 4, reeled back with back-to-back bogeys from No. 6 but holed out with a birdie on the par-5 ninth to save a 35-38 and a 73.
She fell to joint 58th with 23 others, including Filipina amateur Regan de Guzman, who eagled the ninth of Panther course to salvage a 36-37, which featured three birdies against six bogeys.
Dottie Ardina, who made a strong finish at the close of the Symetra Tour season, and Cyna Rodriguez, who had a so-so debut in the LPGA Tour, have clinched spots in 90-hole Stage 3 slated at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach, also in Florida.
Over in Malaysia, Miguel Tabuena rallied with a 69 from an opening 73 but still lay 12 shots behind Justin Thomas of the US halfway through the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur.