Mikha Fortuna catches home bet Yvon Bisera on top
DAVAO City – Mikha Fortuna battled Yvon Bisera in a furious frontside duel then came out of a bungling backside skirmish a bit steadier to rescue a 71 and force a tie after 36 holes in the ICTSI South Pacific Classic here Wednesday.
Fortuna matched the local ace’s three-birdie splurge in the first nine holes and remained a shot behind at the turn.
But after a bogey on No. 10 that left her two shots off, Fortuna collared Bisera at 143 on aggregate after the latter holed out with a bogey on the long par-5 18th to end up with a 72.
That set the stage for a final 18-hole shootout for the top P125,000 purse between two players in hot pursuit of a maiden Ladies Philippine Golf Tour win.
One-time winner Sarah Ababa is three shots farther back at 146 after a second 73 at South Pacific Golf & Leisure Estates.
“Seeing how Yvon and Sarah play, I think I have a big chance to get the title,” said Fortuna. “The goal is to win this week but I’m not thinking about it. I just have to stick to my game plan.”
So does Bisera, who despite her last-hole mishap remained upbeat of her chances not because of her familiarity with the course but due to her big drives that kept on finding their targets in the first two days.
“I think my edge is on my driving, it’s pretty steady and I’ve been hitting the fairways the past two days,” said Bisera in Filipino. “I just hope to sustain my long game and for my putting to click.”
While admitting that the pressure to deliver at home is mounting, Bisera stressed: “I will just play my game, hit the fairways and greens and avoid three-putts.”
Korean Seoyun Kim and Apple Fudolin carded 73 and 74, respectively, to share fourth place at 148 even as Daniella Uy’s bid for a third straight championship gained a slight boost after a 71.
The back-to-back winner at Forest Hills and at Del Monte, however, is still six strokes off the joint leader.
Pamela Mariano turned in a 74 for a 150 while Luisita and Villamor legs winner Harmie Constantino hardly improved from a 76 with a 75 for 151.