Piccio fades with 70 but keeps Lee at bay
CARMONA, Cavite—Mia Piccio shot a two-under-par 70 yesterday and moved on the threshold of a first international pro win with a one-shot lead over Lee Jeong-hwa of South Korea going into today’s final round of the ICTSI Champion Tour presented by Champion and the Taiwan LPGA.
The 24-year-old Piccio had a roller-coaster round over the Legends layout of the Manila Southwoods here, mixing six birdies and four bogeys. She had a 36-hole 137 aggregate.
Lee, the former Philippine Ladies Open champion and the winner of this tournament’s twin event last week at Splendido, fired a 71 to be at 138.
She pulled a crucial two-shot swing on the 17th, which Piccio bogeyed.
Amateur Sam Martirez, who shared the first-round lead with Piccio, Lee and two others, matched par for 139, two ahead of The Country Club teammate Pauline del Rosario, who shot a 67.
Piccio had a three-shot lead over Lee going into the long par-5 17th, only to push her second shot into the large lagoon on the right side of the fairway.
“I have a good shot at winning, but I have to be steady (in the final round) and make good decisions,” said Piccio, a regular on the Symmetra Tour in the United States.
The well-built Lee also erased Japanese Fumika Kawagishi’s one-shot lead in the final round at Splendido in Tagaytay for her victory.
“Mia’s distance is her advantage and it will help here,” said Lee, a Southwoods member who knows practically every bounce in the Jack Nicklaus-designed gem.
Kawagashi and compatriot Yumi Takabayashi are in Del Rosario’s company after a 72 and 74, respectively, even as Dottie Ardina shot a 72 for the second straight day and is out of it with a 144.
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