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Thai rallies to rule ICTSI golfest

Thanutra Boonraksasat pulled through in a high-noon duel of wits with Princess Superal, wresting control late then surviving a wobbly finish to hack out a one-stroke victory in the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Ladies Championship at the Legends course in Carmona, Cavite yesterday.

Boonraksasat hit a clutch birdie on No. 13 to take charge and went 2-up on Superal’s bogey on the next then held on to victory despite a bogey-bogey finish for a 69 as the Filipina shotmaker likewise holed out with a bogey for a 71.

The Thai finished with a 13-under 203 total worth R350,000, joining the growing list of winners from the country’s perennial regional rivals, who have dominated the Ladies Philippine Golf Circuit with six victories out of 11 tournaments last year.

“I don’t know what to say. I have mixed emotions at this point but I’m definitely feeling good,” said Boonraksasat, whose thrilling victory likewise snapped a five-year title spell for the 28-year-old Bangkok native.

She dumped her approach shot into the left bunker on par-4 No. 18 and ended with a 5 but Superal also found the rightside trap off a 9-iron approach shot and missed a 16-footer for a crack at a playoff.

“I was left with 111 yards but the ball was in a tough lie. It’s just too bad that breaks didn’t go my way in the end,” said Superal.

It was a sorry setback for Superal, who had led in the first two rounds, including a solid 64 in the first day. She held on two a one-stroke by matching Boonraksasat’s 34 start but flubbed a couple of birdie putts at the back, enabling the Thai to storm ahead with birdies on Nos. 10 and 13.

Superal wound up with a 204, which Chihiro Ikeda matched on a sizzling 66. Four down off Boonraksasat after 36 holes, the FIl-Japanese moved within two with three straight birdies form 13 but missed her chances in the last three and settled for joint second. Each received P155,000.