Pradera Verde opens 21-point lead over Manila Southwoods

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Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club surged to a commanding 21-point lead over defending champion Manila Southwoods Masters at the start of the 12th Philippine Airlines Ladies Interclub golf team championships on Tuesdat at the Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.

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Yuka Saso, the 16-year-old Fil-Japanese, fired 59 points built around eight birdies to lead the Lubao-based squad, which also drew 55 points from Tomita Arejola and 53 from national player Harmie Constantino.

Kristine Torralba did not count with her 50 points.

Pradera, a team formed only two weeks ago, collected 165 points in the four-to-play, three-to-count tournament. It could have been 167 if not for the two-point deduction it incurred after Torralba failed to pick up on the 15th hole.

Yuka Saso. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“We did not expect to lead this big,” said Pradera captain Normandy Sto. Domingo. “Tomita’s one-under was a big surprise.”

Saso used her length off the tee to set up her birdies, the most by anyone in the field. The only blot in her scorecard came on the par-5, No. 9 where she picked up after pushing her teeshot to the shrubs, misplayed her bailout shot and took four more strokes to reach the green.

To underscore Pradera’s big start, nobody else in the championship division managed to score in the 50s.

Samantha Bruce was South­woods’ best scorer with 49 points followed by Bernice Ilas 48, and Laia Simone Barro 47. Loralie Roberto did not count with 46.

Southwoods coach Bong Lopez is not about to throw in the towel.

Cebu Country Club finished with 140, four points behind Southwoods. Scoring for the host squad were Junia Louise Gabasa 48, Irina Paulin Gabasa 48 and Crystal Faith Neri 44.

A four-horse race is shaping up in the Founders division.

Lady Eagles Australia Golf, the only foreign club in the field, drew 50 points from Julia Caroline Camarsh to open an eight-point lead over Alabang Golf and Country Club with 134 points.

Ten points adrift with 124 were Manila Southwoods Legends and Del Monte Golf Club.

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