SAN RAFAEL, Bulacan – Cyna Rodriguez missed posting a huge opening round lead with a double-bogey finish, settling for a two-under 70 and a two-stroke lead over Fil-Am Cristina Corpus and Thai Jaruporn Palakawongnaayuttaya in the ICTSI Royal Northwoods Ladies Challenge at the Royal Northwoods Golf Club here yesterday.
On her way to an explosive start with four birdies after 17 holes, Rodriguez hit an errant shot on the par-4 closing hole and failed to recover, ending up with a double-bogey 6 that marred an otherwise solid 35-35 start.
That gave her rivals some lift to keep it close with Corpus, seeking a follow-up to her breakthrough win at Luisita last year, mixing two birdies with the same number of bogeys for a 37-35 and Palakawongnaayuttaya turning in a roller-coaster round of three-birdies against three bogeys for a similar 37-35 card.
Chihiro Ikeda, out to seal her claim on the Order of Merit title with a victory here, blew a birdie-birdie feat from No. 3 as she bogeyed four of the last 11 holes to tumbled to joint fourth at 74 with 36 holes left in the P1 million event sponsored by ICTSI.
While Rodriguez wavered at the finish, Jayvie Agojo leaned on a fiery windup to get back into contention. The former leg winner and Philippine Ladies Open champion birdied the last two holes to join Ikeda at two-over.
Other 74 scorers were Apple Fudolin, who fumbled with two bogeys in the last six holes, and Lovelyn Guioguio, who birdied the 17th.