Pueblo de Oro drew a couple of 50 points from Pamela Mariano and Alethea Gaccion as it assembled a 181 to snatch a two-point lead after two rounds of the 2019 Champion Luzvimin Invitational golf tournament at the Cebu Country Club late Thursday.
Mariano, now the lead player of Pueblo after anchoring Del Monte’s title romp at Taal Splendido last year, sustained her 53-point output in the first round, scoring 51 Molave points and Gaccion turned in a second straight 50-point game while Juliane Borlongan and Marife Carmichael carded identical 40 points as the Pueblo ladies outdueled the hosts, 181-178, to surge ahead heading to the last 18 holes of the annual championship sponsored by Champion.
Cebu Country Club slowed down after a lead-grabbing 187-point output Wednesday, settling for a 178 behind Riko Nagai’s 47 points and Crytal Neri, Catrina Martinez and Mary Kim Hong’s 46, 45 and 40 points, respectively.
Despite yielding the lead, the hosts remained confident of reigning at home with the rest of the contenders in the premier Diamond division all but bowing out with mediocre outputs.
Valley Golf, with Mariel Tee firing another 55 points, actually improved from 170 with a 180 but stood 17 points off Pueblo with a 350 while Del Monte, led by Sofia Abarcas’ 50 points, all but kissed its title-retention bid goodbye despite rebounding with a 180 from 167 for a 347 in the event organized and conducted by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
Many-time champion Manila Southwoods, with Laia Barro also carding 50 points, likewise failed to make its vaunted charge though it put in a 174 for a 337 while Fernando Air Base pooled a 274 after a 127 for sixth followed by Club Filipino (122-264), Rancho Palos Verdes (122-253), Eagle Ridge (112-212) and Sta. Elena (97-211).
Tagaytay Highlands, powered by Marianne Bustos’ 43 points, padded its lead in Emerald class, scoring a 161 for a 310, now six points ahead of Camp Aguinaldo I, which made a 159 for a 304, with Forest Hills assembling a 296 after a 151 followed by Camp John Hay (133-273) and Alabang (121-261).
Lorna Tabuena also played true to form, shooting a 41 after a 40 as Manila Golf stayed on top of the Ruby class with a 272, eight points ahead of surging Orchard, which sizzled with a 145 after a 119 to assume the challenger’s role at 264.
Erstwhile second running Villamor slid to third at 262 after a 128.
Camp Aguinaldo 2, on the other hand, took the Pearl division lead with a 122 for a 231, now 14 points up on Baguio, which pooled a 217 after a 111, as first day leader Bacolod floundered with a 98 after a 110 and dropped to third at 208 with Victorias at fourth at 177 after an 89.
Tee, meanwhile, pulled away in the individual competitions with a 110, six points ahead of Mariano with Gaccion at third with 100 in Class A while Ruby Hamis of Aguinaldo I also built a nine-point cushion in Class B play with an 89 with Maria Cecil Tan of Forest Hills and Myung Seon Park of Palos Verdes tied at 80.
Orchard’s Leonila Patricio, on the other hand, and Rosario Dimson of Tagaytay braced for a fierce duel in Class C with the former pooling a 70 and the latter scoring a 69.
Three others – Aguinaldo 2’s Mencie Millionado, Club Filipino’s Mercedita Bejar and Arlene Villordon – made 68s to make it an interesting duel in the final day of the event backed by Henna, San Miguel Corp., Diamond Motors, Quest Hotel, Cebu Country Club, Ayala Land Premier, Celium Fibre, Derma C, Gothong Lines and Vermogen.