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Ardina rises to T-5th with 69 in Four Winds Invitational

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Ardina rises to T-5th with 69 in Four Winds Invitational
Dottie Ardina of the Philippines plays her shot from the second tee during the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club on June 27, 2021 in Johns Creek, Georgia.
KEVIN C. COX / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Dottie Ardina kept her steady handling of South Bend Country Club’s tricky surface as she bucked another day-long tussle with her irons, firing a three-under 69 and jumping from a share of 19th to joint fifth after two rounds of the Four Winds Invitational in Indiana Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Chinese Yan Liu stayed in control despite slowing down with a 71 after a 64 for a 135 but Gabby Lemieux of the US threatened at 137 after a 66 and Canadian Selena Costabile shot a 70 to seize solo third at 138 with 18 holes left in the $200,000 tournament.

As Pauline del Rosario finally snapped a string of missed cut stints on the Epson Tour despite a rollercoaster 72 and Clariss Guce barely advanced with a 74, Ardina revived her drive for a second championship, her 36-33 card and 140 lifting her to a share of fifth behind fourth-running Italy’s Roberta Liti, who turned in a 71 for a 139.

The Copper Rock Championship winner in Utah last April, who hit two late birdies to salvage a 71 in the first round, gunned down three birdies in the first 12 holes, yielded a stroke on No. 13 but the Team ICTSI spearhead regained it on the next for that 69. She hit all but two fairways and finished with 26 putts to more than make up for the seven missed greens.

Pressured to come up with a follow-up to her big opening 70, del Rosario struggled trying to get her rhythm going as she stumbled with two bogeys against a birdie after nine holes. Facing another disastrous finish, she went to her power game and birdied the last two par-5s to negate her third bogey on the par-3 17th.

She finished with a 38-34 for a 142 and safely made the cut at joint 15th after a five-tournament spell in LPGA Tour's farm league.

But she rued her shaky putting, including a couple of flubbed birdie chances that led to a 31-putt struggle after making just 25 putts in the first round. She also missed five fairways and the same number of greens.

Guce also missed a lot of opportunities, blowing a two-under card with a woeful frontside windup. The two-time Epson Tour winner double bogeyed the par-5 No. 5, bogeyed the next and holed out with another mishap for a 40-34 and a 146, the cutoff score.

DOTTIE ARDINA

GOLF

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