Ardina fights back, saves 70
Dottie Ardina
Symetra Tour File
Ardina fights back, saves 70
Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - September 26, 2020 - 1:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — Dottie Ardina put on a late charge to salvage a one-under 70 but lay six strokes off a hot-starting Samantha Wagner of the US at the start of the IOC Classic of the Symetra Tour in Longwood, Florida Friday.

Ardina, priming up for her second Major test in the PGA Championship in two weeks time in Pennsylvania, groped for form coming off a tied for 42nd finish in last week’s Cambia Portland Classic in the LPGA Tour, fumbling with three bogeys against a lone birdie after seven holes at the par-71 Alaqua Country Club.

But the Canlubang pro, who tied for 64th in the British Women's Open in Scotland last month, recovered her bearing and rhythm at the back, birdying the two par-5s (Nos. 10 and 16) and draining another on the par-3 11th for that closing 33 for joint 31st with 11 others in the 54-hole tournament.

It was however far from her sizzling eight-under 63 start in 2018 that netted her a joint second place effort that also helped fuel her bid to regain her LPGA card last year.

The ICTSI-backed ace flourished off the mound, missing just one fairway off a 238-yard norm and made up for her struggle with her iron game by coming through with 28 putts. Ardina failed to reach regulation seven times.

Wagner also flaunted her power off the tee and wielded a hot putter to finish with 26 putts although she missed completing a superb eight-under card with a failed par bid from the bunker on No. 18.

But her awesome 64, spiked by a seven-birdie binge from No. 8, put her two shots clear of fellow Americans Balley Tardy, Nannette Hill and Sophia Schubert and Korean Min-G Kim who all carded 66s while six others, including Aussie Robyn Choi, shot 67s to get into the mix.

Fil-Am Clarris Guce, however, stumbled with a 73 and fell below the projected cutoff line at even-par.

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