Steady Ilas fires 70, posts 3-shot buffer over Ikeda
YOUNG Bernice Ilas fired a one-under-par 70 yesterday to seize a three-shot lead over overnight leader Chihiro Ikeda heading into today’s final round of the P500,000 ICTSI Beverly Place Challenge in Pampanga.
The 14-year-old member of The Country Club team under coach Bong Lopez stood out in a flight against grizzled veterans Ikeda and Lovelyn Guioguio and moved on the verge of a huge victory with a 36-hole total of 141.
Ikeda, never a winner as a pro despite a decorated amateur career, fired a 75, while Guioguio ballooned to a 78 over the malleable layout to be 10 shots off the pace and practically out of it.
“I’ll just take it one shot at a time,” Ilas said of her final-round plans as she aims to duplicate the achievement of the multititled Princess Superal, her TCC teammate, in the fledgling circuit.
Sam Martirez, another amateur from TCC, matched Ilas’ 70 to be at 147, in a tie with Malaysia’s Kellie Kan, also an amateur, who shot a 72, and former leg winner Jayvie Agojo, who also had a 72.
“I struggled with my irons,” said the burly Ikeda, a former Southeast Asian Games gold medalist. “But there is still one round left and I still have a chance if I minimize my mistakes.”
Unheralded bets are making hay in the tournament in the absence of the tour’s top guns Dottie Ardina, Cyna Rodriguez and Mia Piccio who are all campaigning elsewhere. Musong R. Castillo
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