Ikeda recovers from wobble, nips Korean foe in 3rd playoff hole
GEN. TRIAS, Cavite—Chihiro Ikeda fumbled at the finish in regulation but toughened up on the third playoff hole to subdue Korean amateur Lee Ji Hyeon, clinching the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational crown with a par on No. 18 of the Aoki course here Friday.
Ikeda blew a two-shot lead with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 for a 71 enabling Lee, who sizzled in a flight ahead with a 66, to force a playoff at seven-under 209 at the close of the 54-hole, P750,000 tournament sponsored by ICTSI.
Erstwhile co-leader Hwang Min-jeong, who charged back with late three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 14, missed joining the sudden death with a bogey on the last hole. She wound up third at 210.
Ikeda and Lee parred their first two playoff duels, both on the par-4 18th, but the Filipino-Japanese proved steadier in the end, coming through with a routine par the third time out and finally claiming the victory after Lee cracked another pressure and flubbed her par-putt bid from five feet.
“It’s nice to win again although I really had to toughen up in the playoff after blowing a huge lead in regulation. I was tired but coach Bong (Lopez) told me to just stay focused and keep believing in myself,” said Ikeda.
The victory was worth another P150,000 for Ikeda and it came three months after she scored a similar sudden victory over Thai Wannasiri Sirisampant at Forest Hills last November.
Lee settled for low amateur honors.
Princess Superal, who figured in a three-way lead with Ikeda and Hwang after 54 holes, failed to recover from early bunker woes, finishing with a 73 for fourth at 211 worth P95,000.
Thai Yoktuan Pavarisa matched par 72 for fifth at 215 and received P60,000.
Sirisampant, a former winner in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., rallied with a tournament-best 68 to tie fellow Thai Numa Gulyanamitta, who carded a 72, at 219.
Cyna Rodriguez shot a 72 for seventh at 220, Dottie Ardina wavered with a 77 for joint eighth with Thai Tirapan Yoopan, who had a 73, at 221, while Chonlada Chayanun shot a 72 for 10th at 222.
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