Thai, Ikeda grab 1-2 spots at PH Masters tourney
Fancied bets in the $80,000 ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters found life difficult in demanding conditions yesterday with an unheralded Thai and local darkhorse Chihiro Ikeda going 1-2 after the first 18 holes at daunting Alabang Golf Club in Muntinlupa.
KanphanitnanMuangkhumsakul, an 18-year-old with European Tour experience, had a roller-coaster three-under-par 69, while Ikeda, a former decorated amateur with only one professional win to show, was the most consistent with a flawless 70 as the well-manicured layout’s greens bedeviled the talented field.
Muangkhumsakul had an eagle and seven birdies but still couldn’t put the field away after signing for a double bogey and four bogeys in a 35-34 effort.
She rued the rock-hard greens and pin placements, punished for putting her approaches in wrong places.
“It was a good effort for me today,” the Thai, who turned pro as a 15-year-old and has a top 10 finish in the Euro Tour this year, said. “You can’t be in the wrong side of the greens.”
Top Philippine hopes Princess Superal and Dottie Ardina were bunched in an eight-man group that returned 73s, counting amateur Pauline del Rosario, all having up-and-down rounds and lucky to be just four shots down going into the final two rounds.
Saranporn Langkulgasettrin of Thailand and Chinese Taipei’s Kuo Ai-chen were also a shot behind like Ikeda. Cyna Rodriguez, the former US LPGA campaigner, rallied with birdies on 16 and 17 for a 73.
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