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Korean pulls away by 8

LIPA City, Batangas – Hwang Ye-nah sustained her relentless assault on Mt. Malarayat’s composite course, firing a three-under 69 to all but wrap up another championship in the ICTSI Champion Tour with a whopping eight-shot lead over Thai Chatprapa Siriprakob in the second round of the $75,000 event here yesterday.

Unlike in her eagle-spiked 66 Wednesday that netted her an early five-stroke lead over Princess Superal, Hwang headed for an up-and-down finish of three birdies against two bogeys until she closed out with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 for a 35-34 card and a 36-hole aggregate of nine-under 135.

That put her eight strokes clear of Siriprakob, who turned in a best four-under 68 in scorching day and assumed the challenger’s role at 143 as Superal floundered with a 73 and dropped to joint third at 144 with Korean amateur Hwang Min-jeong, who matched par 72 for the second straight day in the 54-hole championship presented by Champion.

“My putting wasn’t good today (yesterday) as well as my short game,” said Hwang, who moved 18 holes away from duplicating her wire-to-wire triumph at ICTSI Ladies Open at Southlinks in 2015, also over Superal, worth another $15,000.

Despite her huge lead, Hwang said she still have to shoot a 66 to win.

Superal, meanwhile, hints at turning in a low 60 or a 10-under card to get a crack at the crown in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“My putting was awful and missed so many birdie putts,” said Superal, who recovered from a two-bogey mishap after eight holes with birdies on Nos. 9 and 10 but stumbled with bogeys on Nos. 11 and 13 before holing out with a birdie for a 37-36 card. “I have to score 10-under to win.”

Thai Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, winner of the first Philippine Ladies Masters at Alabang last December, rebounded from a so-so opening of 74 and a bogey-bogey start with three birdies in the last 11 holes as she carded a 71 to move to solo fifth at 145.