TAGAYTAY – Lois Kaye Go held her own against fancied rivals and came through with a gutsy, eagle-spiked two-under 70 to grab a one-stroke over Princess Superal at the start of the Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship presented by Champion Infinity at Tagaytay Midlands here yesterday.
Go, a 16-year-old shotmaker from Cebu Country Club, actually took a three-shot lead heading to the 18th but bogeyed the par-5 hole which Superal birdied from close range to settle for a one-shot edge in the 54-hole championship that drew bets from Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Japan and Australia.
The Cebuana ace, who turned in an impressive performance in the ICTSI-JGFP Visayas Inter-School Championship last month, bucked the dreaded Tagaytay wind and Superal’s equally impressive game, putting together a round that featured three birdies against the same number of bogeys and an eagle on No. 16 to take charge in the event organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
Superal, seeking a follow-up to her Hong Kong Ladies Amateur romp two weeks ago, birdied No. 18 from close range to string a 36-35 card in windy condition that bedeviled the games of the rest of the starting 66-player field in the tournament backed by Filinvest Alabang, Inc., Metro Pacific, Shell, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Taishan Insurance Brokers, Inc., MEC, Jewelmer, G&W Clubshares, inc., Vermogen.
The top The Country Club bet also birdied No. 5 and 13 but dropped shots on Nos. 9 and 17 although the former US Girls’ Junior champion remained on track for a crack at the championship in the tournament supported by the Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Chapter, Alabang Ladies Golf Chapter, Canlubang Ladies Chapter, Forest Hills Ladies Circle, Manila Golf Ladies Chapter, URC-C2, Midlands Golf Club, Rockport and Impact Golf magazine.
Yuka Saso matched par 72 for third while Pauline del Rosario, the reigning Thailand Amateur Open champion, came in ruffled by the wind and signed a three-over 75 in a tie with Angela Legaspi.
Sofia Chabon, another TCC bet, carded a 76 for joint sixth with Wack Wack’s Felicia Medalla, Mikha Fortuna and Kayla Nocum shared eighth place with 77s while reigning national champion Harmie Constantino skied to a 78 in a tie with Malaysian Kellie Kan.
Onkanok Soisuwan fumbled with a 79 in a shaky start by the Thai ace seeking to extend their domination of the country’s premier ladies championship, settling for a share of 12th with TCC mainstays Sam Martirez and Bernice Ilas while Ashia Nocum and Amelia Legaspi shot identical 81s and Thai Kan Bunnabodee limped with an 82 in the premier Open division.
Riko Nagai of Japan and Hee Sun Kim of Korea carded identical 88s to share the lead in Class A, three shots clear of Catalina Neish and Raquel Banawa with Stella Barnes staying in the hunt with a 92 and Eden Hernandez and Marilyn Reyes turning in identical 93s.
Rowena Bjorklund and Maricel Galisim, meanwhile, tied for the Class B lead with 103s with Ma. Ysabel Catindig just a stroke behind at 104 and Korean Sun Ok Park putting in a 105, ensuring a spirited battle for top honors heading to the last two rounds.