Ardina's rally fizzles out with late miscues

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Ardina's rally fizzles out with late miscues
Dottie Ardina of the plays her shot Philippines on the ninth hole during the fifth round of LPGA Q-School at Magnolia Grove Golf Course on December 05, 2023 in Mobile, Alabama.
Alex Slitz / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines -- Dottie Ardina squandered a shot at an LPGA of Taiwan Tour crown with a late round struggle as she bogeyed two of the last three holes to finish with a 73 and end up joint seventh in the Foxconn TLPGA Players Championship at the Orient Golf and Country Club in Taoyuan City Sunday.

Japanese Haruka Kawasaki survived in a wild finish, clinching the championship despite a five-over 77 for a 286, edging local bet Yu Sang Hou by one as the latter missed forcing a playoff with a last-hole mishap for a 72.

Rio Takeda, also from Japan, fell short of her rally after a birdie on the 17th, settling for a share of second at 287 with a 74.

Seven shots off Kawasaki after 54 holes, Ardina made a strong push and pulled within three with a birdie on No. 15 for a one-under card as the frontrunners stumbled one after the other in tough conditions.

But the ICTSI-backed shotmaker bogeyed the 16th and yielded another stroke on the par-5 18th, concluding her campaign at joint seventh at 289.

Japanese Serena Aoki aced No. 2 on her way to a 71, Sayaka Takahashi carded a 73 and Kokona Sakurai and Taiwanese Ssu Chia Cheng both shot 74s to tie Ardina.

In control of the tournament heading to the last 18 holes, Kawasaki faltered with a frontside 38, enabling a slew of others to gain a crack at the championship.

She birdied the 10th to stay on top but bogeyed four of the next four holes, allowing Hou to gain a share the lead with a two-birdie, one-bogey round after 14 holes.

They matched birdies, bogeys and pars in the next three holes to remain tied heading to the closing hole.

But the Taiwanese succumbed to pressure and holed out with a bogey, enabling the Japanese to escape with the victory with a closing par.

Takeda made a late surge with a birdie on No. 17 but missed a crucial chance on No. 18, finishing with a two-over card for joint second with Hou.

Korean Jin Hee Im, who led in the first round, rallied with a 70 to wind up tied at fourth at 288 with Saiki Fujita of Japan and top local Yu Ju Chen, who posted 72 and 74, respectively.

Ardina got going with a birdie on the first hole but yielded a stroke on the challenging No. 5. Despite missing birdie opportunities, she continued to gain grounds as Kawasaki dropped shots after shots from No. 11.

A birdie on the 15th kept Ardina’s hopes alive but missed hits and missed putts ruined the LPGA and Epson Tour campaigner’s title drive in her rare appearance on the TLPGA.

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