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Guce fights back with 69; Ardina, Arevalo advance in El Dorado Shootout

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Guce fights back with 69; Ardina, Arevalo advance in El Dorado Shootout
Clariss Guce of the Philippines plays her shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Club on July 31, 2020 in Toledo, Ohio.
PATRICK SMITH / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Clariss Guce recovered big from a frontside struggle with a searing stretch-run rally, birdying five of the last six holes to shoot a 69 and move to joint ninth in the second round of the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout now led by Finland’s Kiira Riihijarvi in Arkansas Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).

Guce, out to atone for her final round foldup in last week’s Guardian Championship which she controlled heading to the last nine holes, fell farther back from her previous tied for 24th ranking after an opening 72 with three bogeys in the first seven holes at the tough Mystic Creek course.

But she checked her skid with a birdie on the ninth and after a run of three pars, she got going with back-to-back birdies from No. 14 then picked up strokes in the last three to save a 38-31.

With a 141 aggregate, however, the two-time Epson Tour winner still stood six strokes behind Riihijarvi, who eagled the closing par-5 18th to fire a 66 and take command at 135, one stroke ahead of first round leader Bailey Tardy of the US and Korean Jiwon Jeon.

Tardy fumbled with a frontside 37 but rallied with two birdies in the last three to rescue a 71 for a 136, the same output put in by Jeon, who fought back with a 67 on six birdies against a bogey.

Dottie Ardina also advanced to the final round of the 54-hole championship but the Copper Rock Championship winner in Utah last April sputtered with a 73 after a 70 and slipped to joint 16th at 143, eight strokes off the new leader.

Meanwhile, given up for lost after an opening 80, the ICTSI-backed Abby Arevalo put up a two-eagle feat to anchor a fiery 66 as she rose from the brink at tied 99th to earn a spot in the final round at joint 35th with a 146.

Arevalo hit a pitch-in eagle on the par-4 No. 13, birdied the next then eagled the par-5 No. 5 before birdying the next two holes. 
She, however, failed to keep a bogey-free card with a mishap on the eighth for a pair of 33s anchored on a 12-of-14 stint off the tee, a 16-of-18 green-in-regulation showing and a 28-putt performance.

In contrast, ICTSI teammate Pauline del Rosario blew a first round 73 with an 81 as she missed the cut with a 154.

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