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Sports

Cyna joint 35th after 71; Dottie in 60th in LPGA elims

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Cyna Rodriguez cushioned the impact of a late double-bogey mishap with a closing birdie, saving a one-under 71 to join 24 others in 35th place at the start of the final LPGA Qualifying School at the LPGA International Course in Florida Wednesday.

Rodriguez, who was joint 17th in the first stage of the three-stage qualifier but struggled and barely made it to the top 80 at 71st after Stage 2, made an impressive start at the Jones Course with back-to-back birdies from No. 5, dropped a stroke on the eighth but recovered with another birdie on the par-5 13.

But the former spearhead of The Country Club squad, who dominated the first three seasons of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, hit a wayward shot on the tough par-4 16th and signed up for a six before sinking another short putt for birdie on the closing par-5 hole.

Her 71 put her in the middle of the 157-player field chasing the 20 slots for full membership in next year’s LPGA Tour with the next 25 earning conditional status.

“Though it was a day of low scoring, Cyna’s start augured well for her bid but it’s a long way to go while Dottie (Ardina) has a lot of catching up to do. But we’re confident they’ll fight back in the next four days,” said Team TCC coach Bong Lopez.

Ardina, who wound up No. 23 in this year’s Symetra Tour, also played at the Jones layout and produced a two-birdie, two-bogey round for a share of 60th but the ace Filipina shotmaker is expected to strike back in the next four rounds of the grueling qualifier that drew some of the world’s leading players.

Ardina actually went one-under at the back where she teed off with a birdie on No. 18 but missed the green on the first hole and failed to return a six-footer for par, birdied the next before dropping another shot on the par-3 No. 6 after missing the green.

The top 20 players after five rounds at two courses will earn Category 12 membership while those from No. 21 to 45 plus ties will gain membership through Category 17.

Chinese Simin Feng and Christine Song of the US sizzled with 65s, also at Jones, to pace the field with Korean Julie Yang shooting a 66 at the Hills layout.

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece, also shot a 71 along with Thai Wichanee Meechai, winner of a leg on the ICTSI LPGT.

ACIRC ARDINA BONG LOPEZ CHEYENNE WOODS CHINESE SIMIN FENG AND CHRISTINE SONG COUNTRY CLUB CYNA RODRIGUEZ FLORIDA WEDNESDAY INTERNATIONAL COURSE JONES COURSE KOREAN JULIE YANG
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