Harmie, Rianne share lead after tough day at Valley
Harmie Constantino and amateur Rianne Malixi churned out contrasting two-over-par 74s on Wednesday to share the first round lead in the P750,000 ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour at the complex’ tough-as-nails South course in Antipolo City.
Constantino birdied the 17th to salvage a 37-37 round, while Malixi, the decorated mainstay of the national team, had a double bogey-laced 7 coming out and registered her third bogey on the 15th as the duo leads Marvi Monsalve by a shot and the fancied Chihiro Ikeda by two.
“I played OK, but there were a lot of putts that I could’ve made and a lot of up-and-downs that I could’ve saved,” said Constantino.
Scores ballooned in the first round as Valley South showed its teeth early, with Sunshine Baraquiel, one of three pros tipped to contend here, shooting herself in the foot with a birdie-less 85 littered with three double bogeys and seven bogeys.
Ikeda, the former Southeast Asian Games queen who won the last Ladies Philippine Golf Tour leg at Eagle Ridge, had just three birdies against a double bogey and five bogeys in a 39-37 effort. Ikeda can grab the Order of Merit lead from the absent Chanelle Avaricio with a win here.
“My iron game wasn’t that good and it could’ve been better. I wasn’t able to convert some putts, didn’t make those that mattered,” said the 15-year-old Malixi, who came into this tournament toughened by a three-month stint in the United States.
“I’ll just play my relaxed game [in the second round] and not put pressure on myself,” she added.Mafy Singson, the other PH Team standout, also struggled to shoot a 77, with five of her seven bogeys coming on her inward trip that put to naught birdies on Nos. 11 and 15. INQ