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Del Rosario poised to check skid with 70 at Four Winds Invitational

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Del Rosario poised to check skid with 70 at Four Winds Invitational
Pauline del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines — Pauline del Rosario withstood a shaky start and a fumbling finish to turn in a two-under 70 at the start of the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Indiana Friday (Saturday in Manila) and spark hopes for an end to a long dry spell on the Epson Tour.

Dottie Ardina also rallied at the front with two birdies to save a 71 while Clariss Guce posted a one-birdie, one-bogey card to match par 72 at the South Bend Country Club course as the three Filipina bets stayed above the projected cutoff line in the 54-hole, $200,000 tournament serving as the 15th leg of the 21-stage farm league of the LPGA Tour.

Del Rosario had missed the cut in her last five tournaments and the former Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner is hard-pressed to snap out of her slump. Though she stood six strokes off Chinese Yan Liu, who took command with an eight-under 64 she anchored on five straight birdies from No. 5, the ICTSI-backed del Rosario’s 36-34 card netted her a spot at joint 12th.

But she had to buck a wobbly iron game with superb putting to get into the mix of things as she missed nine greens on an 11-of-14 stint off the mound but recovered with 25 putts in a day delayed by weather concerns.

Del Rosario missed the par-3 No. 10 green and made a bogey to kick off her campaign but she banked on her power to birdie all but one par-5s (Nos. 12, 18 and 5) and negate her other mishap on No. 16. She also came through with a couple of solid short iron play to gain strokes on Nos. 17 and 4, both par-3s.

But she missed making it to joint seventh with a bogey on the eighth.

Ardina also struggled on her way to the greens as she went out of regulation seven times but like del Rosario, she leaned on her putting, finishing with 27 putts to shoot three birdies against a double bogey on the tough par-4 No. 16.

The Copper Rock Championship winner in Utah last April tied for 19th at 71 while Guce shared 32nd place at 72.

Meanwhile, Liu broke a four-hole par game with five straight birdies then gunned down four more against a bogey at the back to storm ahead by three over Taiwanese Vivian Hou, who carded a solid 67, and Swede Linnea Strom, who shot seven birdies against two bogeys for a 34-33.

GOLF

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