Rodriguez storms past Ikeda with 69, leads by 4

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Cyna Rodriguez banked on a two-shot swing on No. 14 to wrest control then birdied the 18th for the second straight day to fire a 69 and surge ahead by four after two rounds of the ICTSI Orchard Golf Ladies Classic at Orchard’s Player Course in Dasmariñas, Cavite on Tuesday.

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Rodriguez, who won two legs in the five-stage inaugural ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last year, also waxed a hot putter to move closer to a third title romp as she shouldered herself past Ikeda to post a huge four-shot lead with a 141 aggregate heading to the final round of the 54-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

“I had a superb short game but I was also lucky for sinking long birdie putts,” said Rodriguez, who rescued five pars in seven times that she went out of regulation and rolled in birdie putts from 20 and 30 feet on Nos. 7 and 14, respectively.

Down by three at the start of another punishing, scorching day, Rodriguez actually took command at the turn with a 34 as Ikeda, impressive with a 69 in the first round, hobbled with two bogeys in a birdie-less frontside stint of 38.

Ikeda birdied No. 13 to tie Rodriguez but the latter birdied the par-3 14th on a solid 6-iron tee-shot and took a two-shot lead after Ikeda missed the green and failed to return a five-footer for par.

Ikeda failed to recover from that mishap and dropped another stroke on the next while Rodriguez mastered the par-5 18th and holed out with another six-foot birdie to take a step closer to another P100,000 feat in the event backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports , Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.

Ikeda parred the last three holes, wound up with a 76 and slid to second at 145, needing to bounce back with a solid round to stop her fellow former Philippine Ladies Open champion from nailing another win in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Daniella Uy, fresh from her victory in the Philippine Amateur Match Play, also at Orchard, last week, birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to salvage a 37 but settled for pars at the back for a 73 and a 146 for third as she clinched a dream spot in today’s championship while zeroing in on the low amateur honors.

Jayvie Agojo, one behind Ikeda after 18 holes, blew it all with an atrocious birdle-less backside 40 for a 77, dropping him to joint fourth at 147 with Anya Tanpinco, who also wavered a bit at the tougher backnine with a 37 and a 72.

Agojo took a penalty on No. 12 when she accidentally dropped her putter and the grip touching the ball. She also double bogeyed No. 16 after two bunker visits.

Amolkan Phalajivin, who struggled with an opening 80 despite a final-hole eagle Monday, tried to fight back with a one-under 35 after nine holes. But the Thai bet, who dominated the ICTSI LPGT Qualifying School last February, made a triple bogey on the par-4 No. 10 and ended up with a 40 and a 75, falling farther behind at 155, 14 shots behind Rodriguez and in a tie with Lovelynn Guioguio, who skied to an 80.

Sarah Ababa and amateur LK Go both carded 78s and pooled identical 157s while Korean Seo Yon Kwon made a 77 to tie Apple Fudolin, Mary Grace Estuesta and Lucy Landicho, who all had 79s, at 10th at 158.

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