CAVINTI, Laguna ˗ Chanelle Avaricio battled Chihiro Ikeda shot-for-shot and putt-for-putt and matched her rival’s closing 72 to make it two-in-row on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with a one-stroke victory in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship here yesterday.
Avaricio fended off Ikeda’s late charge with clutch pars in the last four holes, preserving her overnight one-shot lead and clinching the victory at 217 as the latter failed to sustain a birdie feat on the 16th and settled for closing pars for a 218 at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club.
But while she had some local knowledge of Hallow Ridge, which she calls home, she was practically clueless about Caliraya like the rest of the field. But with steady driving and good ball placements, she was able to produce the desired result.
It was Avaricio’s third crown after dominating the field at Riviera-Couples last November with her latest feat to further booster her confidence as the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit heads to Mt. Malarayat and Summit Point in Lipa City, Batangas next month.
Daniella Uy, just a stroke behind Avaricio and in a tie with Ikeda after 36 holes, fell farther back with bogeys on Nos. 3 and 4. The Riviera-Langer leg winner last year bounced back with birdies on the fifth and ninth but double bogeyed No. 10 and yielded another stroke on the 15th for a 75 and a 221 for third.
Midlands leg champion Sunshine Baraquiel broke par with a 71 to tie reigning Order of Merit winner Harmie Constantino, who fumbled with a 74, at fourth at 225 while first round leader Marvi Monsalve recovered from a disastrous second round 85 with a 74 to share sixth place at 228 with Low amateur Arnie Taguines, who also carded a two-over card.
GIALON PULLS AWAY
Meanwhile, Zanieboy Gialon dispatched Joenard Rates with a strong start and a stronger finish as he pulled away by five with a 68 and closer to snapping a long title spell on the Philippine Golf Tour.
Bracing for a shootout with the 2018 PGT Asia Summit Point leg champion, Gialon had three frontside birdies and surged ahead by three over Rates, who struggled with a 73.
Rupert Zaragosa also razed the frontside with four birdies on his way to a 67 as he tied Rates at second for a coveted spot in the championship flight.
Ira Alido finally hit his stride after a 71 and 73 as he sizzled with a 67 for fourth but his 211 aggregate remained seven shots off the Davaoneno shotmaker, who is seeking to grasp a first crown after thumping the field at ICTSI Calatagan in 2017.
Tony Lascuna carded a 71 and Clyde Mondilla matched par 72 as they shared fifth place at 212 while Jhonnel Ababa, Dino Villanueva and Lloyd Go matched 69s, and Guido Van der Valk floundered with a 73 after a superb second round 68 for joint eighth at 213.
Up by three at the turn, Gialon fumbled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 11, enabling Rates to pull within one. But he flashed some kind of resiliency, coming away with birdies on Nos. 13, 15 and 16, a blistering windup which Rates had failed to match, putting Gialon way out in front with 18 holes left in the P2 million championship put up by ICTSI.