Rodriguez out front by 8 shots

Rookie pro looks beyond recall after a 71

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Cyna Rodriguez cracked par for the second straight day with a one-under 71 yesterday and all but clinched the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Tour’s third leg title by opening an eight-stroke lead after two rounds at the Aoki course of Eagle Ridge in Cavite.

Rodriguez, who opened with a 69 in her first tournament as a pro,  gunned down six birdies and not even a bogey-bogey finish allowed her pursuers to come closer as she posted a 36-hole aggregate of 140.

Apple Fudolin shot a 72 and moved up to second at 148, in a tie with Jayvie Agojo, who ballooned to a 76.

Heidi Chua rebounded from an opening 79 with a 74 and was another five shots behind like Anya Tanpinco, the long-time national player who scrambled to a 75 for 153. Lovelyn Guioguio skidded to an 81 for 155.

Barring a major foldup in today’s final round, the well-built Rodriguez will become the second player to win on the fledgling tour after the absent Dottie Ardina, who ruled the first two legs. Rodriguez is the only player in the field to break par thus far.

Ardina’s first win came at The Country Club and the second at her home course in Canlubang North in this series put up by International Container Terminal Services Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.

“I still need to be extra careful (in today’s last round),” said Rodriguez, a former Philippine Ladies champion like several others in the field. “I need to lessen my mistakes.”

Most of Rodriguez’s five bogeys came off bad reads of the greens.

“The speed of some were fast, some were slow and all of them are sloping,” rued Rodriguez, who three-putted the 18th.

Agojo, the charming 2005 Philippine Ladies’ champ, looks like she would have to wait another leg to pound out her maiden pro win after losing further ground.

Agojo teed off just three shots behind Rodriguez but never got it going on a trying day that even saw her signing for a double bogey on the par-5 15th where she lost her second shot to the hazard.

The event is backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers. Musong R. Castillo

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