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TAGAYTAY – Thai Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul charged back from three shots down at the back with a blazing eagle-spiked windup en route to closing out with a 69 to capture the ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido crown by two here yesterday.
Muangkhumsakul eagled No. 10 of Splendido Taal Golf Club and birdied two of the last four holes to sneak from third-to-last flight to the top of the heap at 215.
Erstwhile leader and Muangkhumsakul’s compatriot Titiya Plucksataporn wavered with a 74 while another Filipina bet Pauline del Rosario fell short of her own comeback bid with a 68 for 217s.
Muangkhumsakul, who led in the first round with a 69 but tumbled down with a horrendous 77 in windy Thursday, still felt contented with her overall performance.
“I played relatively good. Everything was in place and I’m happy I finally made it,” said Muangkhumsakul
The 18-year-old shotmaker from Bangkok, a consistent Top 5 finisher but never a winner on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf, struck back hard in the last nine holes, her solid four-under 32 netting her the elusive crown worth $15,000, the replica of the check she received from STGC general manager Teboy Javier.
But while Plucksataporn cracked under pressure, Muangkhumsakul held sway with clutch birdies, including on the par-3 17th from six feet that gave her a two-shot cushion and all but quashed Del Rosario’s crack for a playoff.
“If not for my 78 in the second round, I could’ve vied for the crown,” rued Del Rosario.
Still, the joint runner-up effort augured well for the rookie pro, who shared the combined $12,000 prize with Plucksataporn. She later vowed to do better when the next ICTSI LPGT leg, also part of the Taiwan LPGA and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., is held next Wednesday(March 15) at Mt. Malarayat.
The locals actually pinned their hopes on Symetra Tour campaigners Mia Piccio and Cyna Rodriguez, who moved within two off Plucksataporn after 36 holes. But the former bowed out with a bogey and double bogey on Nos. 7 and 9, respectively, and the latter wilted with a bogey-marred backside 41.
Piccio ended up with a second 75 for joint fifth at 220 with Thai Narisara Kerdrit, who shot a 71, behind fourth placer Korean Kang Ji-won, who matched par 72 for the second straight day for a 219.