Pauline del Rosario, fresh from her victory in the Melaka Open, sustained her form and fired a three-under 69 to share the lead with Mikha Fortuna at the start of the Penang Amateur Golf Open at the Bukit Jawi course in Malaysia.
The Country Club teammates actually matched 34-35 cards in ideal conditions at the par-72 layout as they paced the 54-hole tournament, a counting event for World Amateur Golf Ranking, one stroke ahead of Geraldine Xuan, who also opened with a 34 but closed out with a 36.
Local bet Noraishah Alisa struggled with a 74 while Winnie Ng and Vanessa Bouvet sputtered with similar 77s.
Oozing with confidence following her eight-shot romp over Fortuna in Melaka, Del Rosario knocked down two birdies at the front then added another at the back but failed to shake off her teammate, who is out to redeem herself from a final round meltdown last week.
Fortuna stood just one shot behind Del Rosario after two rounds but wavered with a 76 in the final day, enabling the former Thailand Ladies Amateur Open champion to scoot home to victory with a closing 69.
Del Rosario is also eyeing a follow-up to her victories in the FCG at Tustin Ranch and the Ping Series leg at Irvine in the US early this year.
New TCC members Laia Barro and Mafy Singson, on the other hand, struggled with 84 and 88, respectively.