Martirez sputters, falls behind by 4 shots
(The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sam Martirez blew a hot start and the early lead with a faltering finish, hobbling with a two-over 74 to fall four strokes behind Annika Chikering after two rounds of the Toyota Tour Cup Series at Twin Oaks Golf Course in San Marcos, California over the weekend.

Martirez, 18, birdied the first two holes to move up by one over Chikering but the top The Country Club bet fumbled with four bogeys in a five-hole stretch from No. 9 to drop off the leaderboard. She settled for pars on Nos. 14 and 15 but failed to cash in on the last two par-5s on Nos. 16 and 18 and flubbed birdie putts inside six feet.

With a 35-39 card, Martirez, who won four tournaments abroad last year, including the Kids World Golf Malaysia, pooled a 147 aggregate, counting her opening 73 in the 54-hole championship, one of a number of tournaments lined up in the US for TCC members, headed by Princess Superal and Pauline del Rosario.

Chikering birdied Nos. 1 and 6 to wrest control then parred the rest to shoot a 70 for a 143.

Hannah Zeman, who paced the field with an opening 72, limped with seven bogeys without a birdie to show, her 79 dropping her to joint ninth at 151.

Joining Martirez at second are Vanessa Wang and Yoonju Shin, both of California, who shot a 70 and 74, respectively.

Martirez, who turned in a strong third place effort in a pro tournament back home last March, actually sputtered in the first round, making two bogeys and a double-bogey to fall way behind. But she birdied No. 9, parred the next four, including a couple of up-and-down feats, then birdied Nos. 14 and 16 to card a 73 and trail Zeman by just one.

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