Chihiro Ikeda bagged the championship in the ICTSI Mount Malarayat Ladies Challenge after she beat Chanelle Avaricio by three strokes on a remarkable eagle-spiked frontside charge for a second straight 72 at Mount Malarayat’s composite course on Friday in Lipa City, Batangas.
Not even a backside slide could hold back Ikeda’s bid for a first Ladies Philippine Golf Tour championship in three years as she built enough cushion with her 33 at the turn and Avaricio ran out of holes in her rally to turn things around at the back after a horrible 38.
Avaricio, winner of the last two LPGT events at Hallow Ridge and Caliraya, sliced the deficit to half with a birdie on No. 13 paired with Ikeda’s double bogey on the 10th and a bogey on the 13th as play resumed after a 30-minute delay because of the threat of lightning.
She pounced on another Ikeda mishap on No. 14 to pull within three but the latter birdied the 15th to go up by four again. They matched pars on the next two holes before Avaricio birdied the last to match Ikeda’s closing even-par card as the latter clinched the victory on a 215 total.
“It’s nice and I’m happy to win again. It’s been a long wait but the wrist injury has hampered my campaign after winning at Midlands in 2019 although I felt better in the last few tournaments,” said Ikeda after annexing the victory worth P116,250.
Avaricio wound up with a 218, her bid for a rare three-peat pushed back by a sluggish frontside 38, while first round leader Harmie Constantino also birdied the last to save a 73 for third at 221 in this fourth leg of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and put up by ICTSI.
“I wasn’t rattled even if I had a shaky start at the back since it was my fault. I didn’t feel any pressure at all,” said Ikeda.
Chihiro Ikeda hoists the ICTSI Mount Malarayat Ladies Challenge trophy after winning the tournament on Friday. / PGT
May 13, 2022
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