TARLAC , Philippines – Pauline del Rosario put in a gutsy one-under par 71 and surged ahead by four as erstwhile leaders Numa Gulyanamitta and Nimmitta Juntanaket of Thailand and Korean Euna Koh melted in extreme heat and tough condition in the second round of the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here yesterday.
Two shots behind the foreign troika with a shaky 74 in the opening of the P1 million event Tuesday, Del Rosario took control with a two-birdie, two-bogey frontside effort as Gulyanamitta and Juntanaket skied with identical 40s and Koh fumbled with a 39 trying to buck the tight layout’s challenge and the hot condition. The rookie Filipina pro then birdied No. 10 and 16 to pull away but failed to go up-and-down on the par-3 17th and settled for a 36-35 card.
Still, her 71, the best in the tournament thus far, and a one-over 145 aggregate put the former Philippine Ladies Amateur Open champion 18 holes away from nailing her maiden pro victory after falling short by two in a joint runner-up finish in her pro in the ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido won by Thai Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul last month.
Gulyanamitta did recover with a closing 37 but her 77 dropped to second at 149 while Nemittra Juntanaket birdied the 18th to card a 76 and tie sister Nimmitta and Koh, who limped with 78s, at 150 for joint third in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas
Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Despite the huge lead, the former The Country Club spearhead remains wary of her chances for the top P250,000 purse, mentioning the layout’s ever-present challenges and the terrors lurking on its unpredictable surface.