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Abby stuns Pauline, wins Riviera title

SILANG, Cavite – Amateur Abby Arevalo birdied the tough closing hole and pulled off a stunning one-show win over Pauline del Rosario in the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship at Riviera’s Langer course here yesterday.

The winning birdie came off a brilliant 6-iron approach shot from 150 yards off a divot lie, the ball sailing over the overcast skies before landing 10 feet at back of the pin on No. 18.

“I couldn’t believe I won,” said the 18-year-old Arevalo, groping for words while trying to savor her biggest victory in a young amateur career.

“I never expected the putt would be for the win. But I really made a good read of it,” added Arevalo, who has also posted a number of victories abroad as member of Team ICTSI.

That birdie capped Arevalo’s closing 70 for a one-over 214 aggregate, frustrating Del Rosario no end after the back-to-back Ladies Philippine Golf Tour winner braced for a playoff after drawing level at two-over overall following Arevalo’s flubbed three-footer for par on the 17th.

But Arevalo had other things in mind.

Unleashing a power drive off the 18th mound, Arevalo bucked the gnawing pressure and followed it up with a solid approach shot despite hitting it over a bad spot.

Del Rosario also hit a good drive and made it in two but missed her birdie putt from 15 feet. She wound up with a 72 and finished second at 215 although she still pocketed the top purse of P150,000.

With erstwhile joint leader Thai Saruttaya Ngam-usan failing to recover from a double-bogey mishap on No. 2, Arevalo took the challenger’s role – and the lead – with an impressive 34 start, moving 2-up as del Rosario fumbled with a 37.

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