South forces North to draw, keeps 4-point lead

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PLOTTING PROGRESS  Lovelynn Guioguio (left) and Mia Piccio read the line of their putt on No. 8 then provided the crucial 1-up win over Dottie Ardina and Mary Grace Estuesta to preserve Team South’s 4-point lead over the North squad in the ICTSI LPGT Duel 2 at South Links. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PLOTTING PROGRESS
Lovelynn Guioguio (left) and Mia Piccio read the line of their putt on No. 8 then provided the crucial 1-up win over Dottie Ardina and Mary Grace Estuesta to preserve Team South’s 4-point lead over the North squad in the ICTSI LPGT Duel 2 at South Links. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Team South battled its North counterpart to a gutsy 2-2 draw in foursomes on Wednesday and kept its four-point lead intact heading to the deciding singles of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour’s Duel 2—North vs South at the South Links Golf Club in Las Piñas.

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Mia Piccio and Lovelynn Guioguio nipped the Dottie Ardina-Mary Grace Estuesta tandem, 1-up, in the final pairing, providing a thrilling ending to a day of routs sparked by North’s Jayvie Agojo and Lucy Landicho’s emphatic 6&5 romp over South’s Anya Tanpinco and Tracy Que.

But Chihiro Ikeda and Sarah Ababa kept their win run going for Team South, blasting the Heidi Chua-Jan Punzalan pair, 5&4, after outplaying Chua and Lucy Landicho, 4&3, in fourballs in the first round Tuesday.

Cyna Rodriguez, however, teamed up with Lina de Guzman and rebounded from her fourball loss with Estuesta with a convincing 4&2 triumph over Eva Miñoza and Apple Fudolin to give Team North some kind of a push after getting swept by the defending champions in the opening fourballs of the Ryder Cup-style format event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

But Piccio came through with a superb pitch on the par-4 17th which Lovelynn Guioguio converted into par then watched Ardina and Estuesta flub their par-putt bid from six feet to wrest control after the two pairs fought it out to an all-square match after 16 holes of the alternate-shot format.

Piccio and Guioguio then matched Ardina and Estuesta’s birdie on the par-5 18th to clinch a tough 1-up victory and halve their second day match at 2-2, giving Team South a huge lead going to today’s (Thursday) singles.

“We’re happy to keep our 4-point lead intact. But this is golf. Anything can happen,” said Team South skipper Sylvia Torres. “But we will still go out there fighting.”

The Southerners, who won five of the eight singles matches to snatch the inaugural crown of the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp, at Cangolf last year, need only to score two wins and a draw in the eight singles duels to regain the crown.

But Team North vows to turn things around, putting the fancied Ardina in the first flight against Ababa with Landicho taking on Fudolin and Rodriguez, winner of five of eight legs of this year’s ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, clashing with Tanpinco.

Agojo faces Que in the next flight while Punzalan tangles with Minoza before Chua, De Guzman and Estuesta duel with Guioguio, Ikeda and Piccio, respectively.

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