Rodriguez storms to 3-shot lead with 69

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Cyna Rodriguez lived up to the hype and seized control with a three-under 69 while Jayvie Agojo charged back with a cluster of birdies to salvage an even par 72 at the start of the ICTSI Ladies PGT Eagle Ridge at the Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite yesterday.

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Rodriguez made her charge at the back by birdying the first two holes after settling for pars at the front in her pro debut. She dropped a shot on the par-4 14th on an errant approach shot but bounced back with back-to-back birdies from No. 16 to turn in an impressive 36-33 card.

She was actually six shots ahead of flightmate and former ICTSI teammate Agojo after No. 13 until the latter, who skied to an opening 40, found her rhythm and birdied the last four holes in stunning fashion.

Agojo’s closing 32 saved her a round of 72 and put her back on track for a crack at her first-ever pro crown after a pair of fifth place finishes in the first two legs of the circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. at The Country Club and Canlubang.

“I made a bad shot on No. 14 but overall I played steady and that’s what I intend to do this week,” said Rodriguez, the 2019 Philippine Ladies Open champion who closed out her amateur career with back-to-back victories in Sacramento and Long Beach last month.

She birdied Nos. 10 and 11 inside six feet then knocked in a long putt from 24 feet on the 16th before ramming a four-footer on the next.

Given up for lost after struggling with her irons and putting stroke at the front for an atrocious 40 start, Agojo recovered in time, settling up birdie chances in the last four holes inside seven feet.

“I can’t aim well and missed some short putts in the early going but I adjusted by picking good targets at the back,” said Agojo, winner of the Philippine Ladies Open at Manila Golf in 2005.

Like Agojo, Lovelynn Guioguio rallied at the back with a 35, hitting three birdies in the last seven holes to card at two-over 74, five shots off Rodriguez, while Apple Fudolin failed to keep in step with Rodriguez and Agojo in the featured flight and shot a 76 for fourth.

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