Ardina wavers, hangs on to 1-shot lead


Dottie Ardina sputtered coming home and hobbled with a two-over 74, barely hanging on to a one-shot lead over Ecuador’s Daniela Darquea and Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres halfway through the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship at the PGA National Golf and Resort at West Palm Beach in Florida Friday.

Ardina, who opened with a three-shot lead with a solid 68 in the first round, failed to rescue a bogey putt from six feet from a bad lie on the greenside bunker on No. 15 for a 6 then made a wet bogey on the par-3 17th for a 35-39 card.

With a 142 total, the top ICTSI-backed bet remained on top although Darquea moved within a shot with an even par 72 in a tie with Torres, who turned in the day’s best score of two-under 70.

Thai’s Panitta Yusabai shot a second straight 73 and stood in fourth at 146 while Sarah Ababa and Andie Unson continued to struggle with over-par rounds.

Ababa made a second 76 and was way off at 152 while Unson skied to a 78 for a 152, 10 off Ardina heading into the final two rounds in the 15-18 age group division of the annual championship.

In Wyoming, Sunshine Baraquiel racked up three wins in match play, including a 3&2 victory over ICTSI teammate Jayvie Agojo to barge into the quarterfinal round of the 81st Women’s Trans Amateur Golf Championship in Sheridan Friday.

Baraquiel, who took the low medal honors in the 36-hole stroke play elims and powered The Country Club-Phl squad to victory in team competition, booted out Danielle Bellet, 3&2, in the first round of the knockout stage then scrambled past Catherine Dolan on the 19th hole to reach the Last 16 phase.

Against Agojo, Baraquiel kept her composure and outlasted the former Philippine Ladies Open champion to arrange a showdown with Ashlee Dewhurst for a spot in the semis.

The other ICTSI bets fell by the wayside with last year’s champion Mia Piccio bowing to Ana Menendez, 3&2, and Chihiro Ikeda losing to Carly Chids, 3&1, in the Last 32 stage.

Lovelynn Guioguio lost to Jackie Shepherd on the 19th hole, also in the second round while Cyna Rodriguez succumbed to Katie Keiser, 1-up, right in the first round.

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