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Piccio nips US bet; other RP golfers fall

Mia Piccio

MANILA, Philippines - Mia Piccio emerged the lone survivor in a rash of setbacks that befell the RP-ICTSI team in the US, edging Suzie Lee of New York, 2&1, in the first round of the match play event in the 108th North and South Amateur Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina Wednesday.

Piccio, ranked 25th in a field of 64, pounced on Lee’s double bogey mishaps on Nos. 4 and 5 to seize control but had to lean on birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 to turn back her rival, who drew level after No. 12.

She faces No. 57 Joy Kim of Virginia in the second round of the knockout phase Thursday. Kim posted one of the day’s big upsets by booting out eighth seed Taylor Kane of Arizona, 4&3.

Piccio’s victory came on the heels of Marcel Puyat’s first round loss in the US Junior Amateur Championship when he dropped a 4&3 setback to Adam Ball at the Egypt Valley Country Club in Michigan.

Puyat, member of ICTSI squad who easily made the cut with a 69 and a 72, failed to get his rhythm going, losing three straight holes from No. 2. He cut the lead to 2 holes with a par on No. 6 but fell by five again after Ball birdied No. 12.

He tried to stay alive with a birdie on No. 14 but Ball matched his par game on the next to wrap up the duel.

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At The Country Club, also in North Carolina, Dottie Ardina lost in the third playoff hole and missed the match play phase of the US Girls Junior Championship.

Ardina actually figured in a 12-player logjam fighting for the last seven berths in the 64-player match play field but after two pars, she double bogeyed the third playoff hole and failed to advance.

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