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Ardina low medalist, heads match play

Dottie Ardina sustained her awesome form and sizzled with a four-under par 68 to win the low medal honors in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier in the 108th WWGA (Western Women’s Golf Association) National Amateur Championship at the Summergrove Golf Club’s Canongate course in Newnan, Georgia Tuesday.

Ardina, a semifinalist here last year, came out of the two-hour weather delay with guns blazing, stringing three straight birdies from No. 4 en route to a 34-34 card and a two-day haul of 138 for the top seeding in the match play phase of the event where the top 64 players advanced, including four other RP bets.

That was three strokes clear off Calle Nelson, who matched the ICTSI-backed bet’s 68 to finish No. 2 with a 141 while Candace Schepperle took the third spot with a 142 after a 72.

Louise Manalo fought back from an opening 77 with a 73 as she placed 26th while reigning RP Ladies Open champion and Sabah Amateur Open winner Chihiro Ikeda also carded a 73 and wound up 43rd with a 152. Cyna Rodriguez, who captured the Karambunai Open in Malaysia recently, took the 56th slot with a 156 after a 74.

Failing to advance were Bambee dela Paz (79-157), Mia Piccio (74-157) and Sarah Ababa (77-162).

Back-to-back RP Amateur champion Anya Tanpinco struggled with a 77 for a 156 and finished tied for 64th with five others. They will dispute the last spot in the playoff Wednesday.

That leaves Ardina still without a pairing for the matchplay but with the way the 14-year-old shotmaker has been playing, the last qualifier will have to dish out a solid game to stun the Filipina bet.

After a 34 at the front, Ardina, who won the WWGA’s 82nd National Junior Championship in Ohio last year, pressed her bid with birdies on Nos. 14 and 18 while parring the rest for another 34 and a 68 at dusk.

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