Piccio ties Korean for lead; J-Ro 4 shots behind
MANILA, Philippines—Playing consistently on a layout that demands perfection on almost every hole, Mia Piccio gunned down five birdies Wednesday on the way to a four-under-par 68 and a share of the opening-round lead with a fragile-looking Korean in the $75,000 ICTSI Ladies Open.
Piccio turned in her 34-34 card almost two hours after Hwang Ye-nah closed out with a double bogey 6 on the ninth for a similar 68 as the duo held a two-shot advantage over local amateur hotshot Princess Superal and American Tiffany Tavee after a trying, rain-soaked day at Southlinks.
Piccio and Superal took the cudgels for the large local contingent as Jennifer Rosales hobbled home with two bogeys in her last four holes for a 72 and Dottie Ardina battled the effect of jet lag for a 78 in the event presented by Champion Infinity and backed by Nike, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.
Yuka Saso and Abegail Arevalo, Superal’s teammates in the rock-solid ICTSI crew, also stayed in the hunt after carding a 71 and 74, respectively, even as Cyna Rodriguez threw away a three-under effort after 12 holes and settled for a level 72.
It was that kind of day at the very tight layout inside a posh village in Las Piñas as many of the fancied bets like Chihiro Ikeda of the Philippines and Thailand’s Amolkan Phajalivin struggled with an 81 and 82, respectively.
Hwang missed putting some distance on herself and the field after losing her first tee shot to the tall rough on the left side of the ninth fairway.
“It could have been a lot better,” said Hwang.