CHONLADA Chayanun birdied two of the last four holes to card a 69 and lead the crack Thai charge but Princess Superal and Chihiro Ikeda stayed in the mix with 70s in opener the ICTSI Beverly Place Ladies Classic in Mexico, Pampanga last Jan. 23.
Mookharin Ladgratok and Ornnicha Konsunthea also hit late birdies to match Chayanun’s two-under par effort at the short, flat but tricky Beverly Place’s par-71 layout with tough pin placements, giving the Thais early control of the P750,000 event serving as the third leg of the new Ladies Philippine Golf Tour season.
Ladgratok checked a bogey-bogey skid from No. 15 with a birdie on the 17th while Konsunthea, who tied for sixth with Chayanun in the last LPGT stop at Pradera Verde, birdied the par-5 closing hole.
“The pin placements are difficult, placed near the edge of the greens,” said Chayanun, who also bucked the wind that blew from various directions that bedeviled the games of the other fancied players in the fold.
But the local aces didn’t stray too far behind the Thais although Ikeda needed to birdie the last hole to save a 71 after blowing a sterling three-birdie splurge after five holes. The many-time LPGT winner bogeyed Nos. 7 and 9, birdied Nos. 12 and 16 to atone for a double-bogey blunder on No. 15 then recovered from a bogey on the 17th with that closing birdie for a 33-37 card. (PR)