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Del Rosario rallies to joint 15th in IOA Classic golf tourney

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Del Rosario rallies to joint 15th in IOA Classic golf tourney
Pauline del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – Pauline del Rosario unleashed a strong finishing kick to post her strongest finish on the Epson Tour thus far, birdying three of the last six holes to shoot a 66 and tie for 15th in the IOA Classic won by Aussie Grace Kim in Longwood, Florida Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

Del Rosario actually faced another wobbly campaign after a sizzling 66 in the opener of the 54-hole championship at the par-71 Alaqua Golf Club last Friday as she fumbled with a 72 in the rain-suspended second round and tumbled to a share of 21st from joint fourth.

But working on a 275-yard driving norm, the ICTSI-backed ace, who missed the cut five times in her first six tournaments in the LPGA Tour's farm league since March, hit all fairways then bucked her day-long struggle with her irons that saw her miss eight greens with superb putting. She closed out with 25 putts, including birdies on Nos. 13, 16 and 18.

Though she finished 11 strokes behind Kim, who pooled a 195 after a stirring 64, her big finish worth $2,967 should augur well for her next campaign in the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship on May 27-29 at Howey-in-the-Hills in Florida.

Dottie Ardina, who claimed her first Epson Tour victory in the Copper Rock Championship in Utah last month, also rallied with a 68 to save a share of 28th at 209 worth $1,756 but erstwhile contender Clariss Guce skied to a 76 after a 66 and 69 as she fell from joint 10th to a share of 45th at 211.

Abby Arevalo also struggled with a 72 and wound up tied at 55th at 213.

Kim, who grabbed the lead at completion of her second round play of 65, overcame a bogey on No. 2 with six birdies for a stirring closing seven-under card she spiked with an eagle-3 on No. 16 as she ran away with the championship worth $30,000.

She beat Korean Hyo Joo Jang and fellow Australian Sarah Jane Smith by five after the duo assembled a pair of 200s after a 64 and 68, respectively.

GOLF

PAULINE DEL ROSARIO

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