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Del Rosario ties for 12th as Ardina sputters

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Del Rosario ties for 12th as Ardina sputters
Pauline del Rosario

MANILA, Philippines – Pauline del Rosario posted her best result in the Epson Tour at joint 12th with a closing 70 as Dottie Ardina hobbled in the last 10 holes and blew her bid for a Top 5 finish with a 73 in the Four Winds Invitational ruled by Chinese Yan Liu via sudden death in Indiana Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

Del Rosario birdied two of the first five holes but hit a couple of errant shots that led to bogeys on Nos. 7 and 10 although she gunned down two more birdies on Nos. 9 and 18 to recover the strokes for a pair of 35s and a 54-hole total of 212.

That was three strokes behind Liu, who floundered in regulation but birdied the 18th to salvage a 74 and force a three-way playoff at 209 with Finland’s Kiira Riihijarvi and Gabby Lemieux of the US, who shot 68 and 72, respectively.

But Liu showed her mastery of the closing par-5 hole, chipping from just short of the green for an easy three-foot birdie as Riihijarvi and Lemieux flubbed their respective birdie chances and yielded the crown.

Five behind Liu after 36 holes, Ardina pressed her bid for a second Tour win with a two-under card after seven holes to crash into the Top 5. But the Team ICTSI spearhead, who won the Copper Rock Championship in Utah last April, cracked when the going got a lot tougher, bogeying three of the last 10 holes and tumbled to a share of 21st instead at 213 on a 36-37 card.

It was a sorry windup for Ardina, who went 14-of-14 off the mound but struggled on her way to the green for the third straight day, going out of regulation six times while failing to sustain her steady putting. She missed a couple of chances and finished with 30 putts.

Del Rosario also grappled with her irons all week, missing six greens in the final round after hitting 10 fairways. She, however, made just 27 putts to key her strong finish that ended a five-tournament run of missed cut stints.

The former Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner has finished no higher than joint 15th in the IOA Golf Classic last May, her fine showing this week expected to bolster her confidence as the Tour heads to Idaho for the Circling Raven Championship on Aug. 26-28.

Meanwhile, Clariss Guce skied to a 78 and limped to joint 64th at 224.

DOTTIE ARDINA

GOLF

PAULINE DEL ROSARIO

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