Thai endures heat, grabs lead at Luisita

The Philippine Star
Thai endures heat, grabs lead at Luisita
PK Kongkraphan.
Pilipinas Golf

TARLAC , Philippines —  Reigning Asian Games gold medalist PK Kongkraphan shone under sweltering conditions, carding an impressive six-under 66 to overtake Hsuan Chen after 36 holes of the $100,000 ICTSI Luisita Ladies International here yesterday.

Enduring a heat index of 44 degrees Celsius, the Thai standout birdied three of the first six holes and added four more against a lone bogey in the last eight to fashion out a pair of 33s.

With a bogey-free 71 in the previous round, Kongkraphan, 32, has a seven-under 137 aggregate, snaring a one-stroke lead over Chen at the Luisita Golf and Country Club course.

The Taiwanese, who appeared poised to dominate the field with three consecutive birdies from No. 10, encountered setbacks with two bogeys against a birdie throughout the round, settling for a 70 after a sterling 68. She slipped to second place at 138.

Punpaka Phuntumabamrung briefly positioned herself to challenge for the top at four-under with four holes remaining at the front. But a stroke of misfortune on the par-3 No. 6 dashed her hopes, resulting in a triple bogey and a 70 and keeping her in third place at 140, three strokes behind Kongkraphan.

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