Van der Valk opens up two-shot lead; Uy runs away with ladies title
Guido Van der Valk battled through a tricky backside test to churn out a courageous four-under-par 68 Thursday and open up a two-shot lead over a dangerous trio heading into the final round of the P2 million ICTSI Mimosa Plus Championship at the Acacia course at Clark Freeport Zone.
The long-time Philippine resident from The Netherlands had five birdies against a bogey in a 34-34 effort for a 54-hole 200 aggregate as he primed up to win for the second time this season after ruling the rich The Country Club Invitational last February.
“It will be a combination of wedge play and putting. I think that will decide who wins,” said Van der Valk as he tries to fend off Jonel Ababa, Michael Bibat and Dino Villanueva in the final round. “Everyone is playing pretty good. But I think it’s hard to score low every single day.”
The wily Ababa returned a 69, Bibat had nine birdies in a 68, while Villanueva assembled a 66 to be just two behind the Dutchman with Keanu Jahns lurking another shot back after a day-best 65 highlighted by 10 birdies.
“I’ll just try to make as many birdies and minimize my mistakes,” said Bibat of his final round battle plan after missing the chance to creep closer on the leader with two double bogeys in the third round.
Meanwhile, Daniella Uy gunned down two eagles in a 64 to rule the ladies side of the championship and be the winningest player of their circuit this Philippine Golf Tour season.
Uy fired a front nine 31 on the strength of those two eagles as she broke free from what was tipped as a slugfest with Harmie Constantino and Mikha Fortuna to tally a 54-hole 202 and win her third title of the season about to end.
“My two eagles did help me win this one,” said Uy, who drained a seven-foot putt off a wedge second shot from 126 yards on the par-5 No. 5 then set up a three-footer for another eagle on the next long hole on No. 9 off a 7-iron from 156 yards.
Constantino fired a 70 to finish five strokes behind, with Fortuna shooting a 71 to drop into a tie with South Korea’s Seoyun Kim at 208. Kim closed out with a 67.
“I’m leaving tomorrow (today) for Japan for the Q-School in Ibaraki. I need to work double-time in practice to familiarize myself with the course and this win is a big confidence-booster,” said Uy.