Last-hole birdie lifts Bisera past Kim

The Philippine Star
Last-hole birdie lifts Bisera past Kim
Florence Bisera with father-caddie Reynaldo.
Pilipinas Golf

MANILA, Philippines — Kim Florence Bisera endured challenging bounces off the tee with a near-impeccable short game, pounding out a gutsy two-under 70 to wrest a one-stroke lead over Seoyun Kim at the start of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Masters at the Villamor Golf Club yesterday.

Following her maiden victory at home in South Pacific in Davao, Bisera navigated the tight layout virtually unscathed, overcoming a bogey on No. 16 with three birdies, including a tap-in on the final hole.

“Actually, my driving was good, but I missed many shots due to the unpredictable kicks. However, my short game, especially putting, was strong,” said Bisera in Pilipino. She birdied the par-3 No. 4 and No. 15 but couldn’t save par after missing the green on the next hole.

She hinted at adjusting her strategy for the second round, saying: “I might avoid using the driver too much, the fairways are very unpredictable.”

The impressive finish distanced her from Kim, who began her round at the backside and reached the ninth hole at two-under par with four birdies against two bogeys. But she struggled with her putting, missing close-range birdie opportunities on Nos. 6 and 7 and failing to get up-and-down on the last hole, resulting in a 71.

“It was not my day. My driver was all over the place, but my irons were fine. In times of trouble, I managed to save par,” said Kim, motivated by her family’s support. “They trust me so much. That’s why I want to do well this week and I believe I can.”

Defending champion Harmie Constantino, who had a rough start, rebounded with a blistering windup. From joint seventh at three-over after 15 holes, the back-to-back winner at Palos Verdes and Caliraya Springs birdied two of the last three holes to card a 73.

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