BINANGONGAN, Rizal – Chihiro Ikeda checked a roller-coaster frontside stint in the rain with a solid backside finish, shooting two birdies for a 70 and a one-stroke lead over fancied flightmates Cyna Rodriguez and Princess Superal at the start of the ICTSI Eastridge Ladies Invitational at the Eastridge Golf Club here yesterday.
Ikeda, seeking a second career win after snapping a long title spell at Orchard last June, fought back from two shots behind Rodriguez in the early going with a long birdie on No. 10 and a four-footer on the par-5 13th then matched her rivals’ closing pars to turn in a 36-34 card to wrest control in the P750,000 championship sponsored by ICTSI.
Rodriguez, out to atone for a so-so stint in the last leg at Sherwood won by Superal, rebounded from a bogey start with a three-birdie binge from No. 2 to storm upfront. But the LPGA Tour veteran stumbled coming off a 30-minute rain delay with back-to-back bogeys from No. 8 and needed to birdie No. 13 to card a 71.
Superal also blew a solid two-under card after six holes with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11.