Defending champion Manila Southwoods-Masters is one round away from winning its sixth straight Philippine Airlines Ladies Interclub title following another explosive showing Thursday at the Camp John Hay golf course in Baguio City.
The Carmona-based squad collected a tournament-best 155 to open a huge 35-point lead over Cebu Country Club going into the final round on Friday.
Fifteen-year-old Mikhaela Fortuna mixed three birdies against the same number of bogeys to lead SW-Masters with 54, a point better than what she produced Wednesday.
Bernice Ilas, 14, and Sophia Chabon, 15 – turned in 52 and 49 points, respectively as SW-Masters totalled 460 points after three rounds of the four-to-play, three-to-count event.
After a poor 130-point effort Wednesday, CCC posted 146 points, but still faced a near impossible task of overcoming SW-Masters’ big lead.
Junia and Irina Gabasa led CCC with 52 and 49 points, respectively while Mary Kim Hong added 45. Ryoko Nagai did not count with 36.
SW-Masters caught everyone by surprise when it fielded its three gunners in the third round despite holding a commanding lead at the halfway mark.
“We thought CCC would field a strong team today. We didn’t want to give up a single point,” said SW-Masters playing captain Marie Claire Ong who nevertheless stopped short of declaring victory.
“We’re just hoping that nothing will happen bad to two of my players in the final round,” said Ong.
Pauline del Rosario will lead the SW-Masters squad in the final round.
Meanwhile, Alabang Country Club (ACC) kept the lead in the Founders division after posting 136 points for 412 overall.
Christine Popp starred for ACC with 47 points and got solid support from Jocelyn Garcia 45 and Diane Jang 44.
ACC is 16 shots ahead of Valley Golf South with Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Chapter and Rancho Palos Verdes tied in third spot with identical 357 points.
In the Sportswriters class, Eagle Ridge built a 15-point lead over Camp Aguinaldo.
Catalina Neish was Eagle Ridge’s top scorer with 43 points followed by Lita Samson 42 and Arlette Dizon 38.
Eagle Ridge has a three-day total of 369 followed by Aguinaldo 354 and Lady Eagles Australian/New Zealand Golfers 333.
Alabang Ladies Golf Chapter led the Friendship division with 295, 21 points ahead of Wack Wack.
Scoring for Alabang Ladies were Vivian Chua 34, Rachel Shah 31 and Gia Suarez 30.
Alabang Ladies has 295 points with Wack Wack and Victorias in second and third spot with 274 and 260, respectively.