Cyna keeps 4-shot lead intact with 69 in John Hay

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BAGUIO – Cyna Rodriguez moved closer to another title romp on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour as she fended off Thai Amolkan Phalajivin’s big windup with a late birdie to keep her four-shot lead intact in the second round of the Camp John Hay Ladies Invitational here Wednesday.

Rodriguez birdied the par-5 17th for the second straight day to salvage an even par 69 and remain way ahead at six-under 132 after Phalajivin threatened to within three with an eagle on No. 16 for a similar 69 and a 136.

Cyna Rodriguez (left) and Thai Amolkahn Phalajivit share a light moment before teeing off on No. 2.
Cyna Rodriguez (left) and Thai Amolkahn Phalajivit share a light moment before teeing off on No. 2.

“I was lucky to hang in there,” said Rodriguez, referring to her poor second shot on No. 17 that rolled onto the green for a two-putt birdie.

“I knew I wouldn’t hit it solid since my timing was off at the range,” said Rodriquez, who shot a bogey-free six-under 63 in the opener but had a rollercoaster round of three birdies against the same number of bogeys on the up-and-down John Hay layout.

The reigning ICTSI LPGT Order of Merit champion, who romped off with a five-shot victory in this year’s kickoff leg at Orchard last April, also struggled with her putting stroke, making 28 after an impressive 25-putt stint Tuesday.

But those hardly mattered as Phalajivin also groped for putting form all day, missing a couple of birdie putts from close range and needing to sink a seven-foot eagle putt on the 16th to negate her bogeys on Nos. 7 and 15.

“I hit better than yesterday (Tuesday) but the putts didn’t fall in. I can’t get the right breaks,” said Phalajivin, who also flubbed a pin-length birdie putt on No. 17.

Anya Tanpinco, the third player in the featured flight, failed to recover from a bogey-bogey start and reeled with a 73 but remained at third at 142, leaving Rodriguez and Phalajivin to dispute the top P100,000 purse heading to the final 18 holes of the third leg of the eight-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

Sarah Ababa fumbled with a 73 after a 70 and stayed at fourth at 143 while Lovelynn Guioguio rebounded with a 69 after a 75 to improve from seventh to fifth at 144.

Jayvie Agojo, who scored a breakthrough on the country’s first ladies pro circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. by the winning the second leg at Riviera last week, finally hit her stride after a disastrous 77 Tuesday, but her one-under 68 hardly revived her title hopes as she stood too far behind at 145, 13 shots off the pace.

Korean Kwon Seo Yon, who won Monday’s pro-am tilt of the event backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp, and Apple Fudolin also bounced back with 71s after a pair of 74s to tie Agojo at sixth while amateur Nikki Bruce recovered with a 70 after a 77 for ninth at 147.

Eva Miñoza birdied No. 16 but dropped two strokes on the next to card a 72 and a 150.

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