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Philippine Ladies Open: Quintanilla hikes lead to 4 after 67, nears crown

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Philippine Ladies Open: Quintanilla hikes lead to 4 after 67, nears crown
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MANILA, Philippines – Grace Quintanilla kept her dominant performance in the Philippine Ladies Open, fashioning out a four-under 67 to post a commanding four-stroke lead over Laurea Duque in the second round of the 54-hole championship at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City Wednesday.

Quintanilla, 16, matched her five-birdie output in the first round while minimizing errors, ending up with just one bogey to assemble a five-under 137 and double her overnight two-shot edge over Duque.

The Cebuana star, who highlighted her second round stint with a monster 30-foot birdie putt on No. 17, thus moved 18 holes away from wrapping up the Open Class championship.

Describing the clutch putt, Quintanilla said: "I would call that putt on the 17th lucky because it was a difficult up-and-down lie.”

That feat actually put her at five-under in the day as she sizzled with a three-birdie splurge from No. 4 inside 5 feet and nearly buried an eagle putt from 40 feet out on No. 15.

“My round was pretty good. I just have to trust my game in the final round,” she added.

Duque, who will turn pro next month, also turned in an impressive 69, sparked by a tap-in birdie on the first hole of the par-71 layout.

She hit three more birdies but made two bogeys on missed drives and posted a 141 aggregate.

“I’m happy with my game today. Hopefully, I could minimize my mistakes and make more putts tomorrow,” said Duque.

Korean Ji Won Lee, a Junior Philippine Golf Tour grand finals winner, failed to mount a charge, finishing with a 72 and stood 10 strokes off Quintanilla at third with a 147 while Alessandra Luciano and Reese Ng matched 150s after a pair of 74s.

Anya Cedo hardly improved from a 76 with a 75 as she turned in a 151 for sixth while Precious Zaragosa limped with a 78 and dropped to joint seventh at 152 with Althea Gaccion, who rebounded from a 79 with a 73.

Like Quintanilla, Melissa Lee and Grace Caffyn stayed at the helm in their respective divisions but both braced for a tight finish with Rafa Anciano and Rica Baltazar, respectively.

Lee fumbled with an 88 after an 82 but remained on top of Class A with a 170, three strokes ahead of Anciano, who carded an 87 for a 173. Aily Kidwell also shot an 87 for third at 175.

Caffyn, on the other hand, bounced back from a 98 with an 89 as she hiked her lead to two with a 187. But Baltazar stayed within striking distance despite a 189 after likewise rebounding from a 99 with a 90.

Grace Montilla also struck back with a 93 after a 99 but fell five strokes off Caffyn with a 192.

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