CAVINTI, Laguna – Pauline del Rosario lived through a backside scare from Kim Seoyun, closing out with a two-putt par for a 71 then watching the Korean miss by a roll for birdie to pull off a one-stroke victory in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship here yesterday.
Kim charged back from four strokes down in the last six holes with three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 13 then came threateningly close after del Rosario put to naught a birdie on the 16th with a bogey on the next, making it a one-shot lead heading to the par-4 18th of the Caliraya Springs Golf Club.
After both reached the green in regulation, the Korean putted first from 20 feet out, the ball rolling into the cup before swerving to the right at the finish for a 68, enabling del Rosario to pound the victory after muffing her own birdie bid from closer range.
Del Rosario thus pocketed the top P115,000 prize on an eight-under 208 total while on a three-week break from the Epson Tour with the victory serving as a big confidence booster as she builds up for the Copper Rock Championship in Utah next week.
“I think what I would take away from this week is my short game since Caliraya Springs is not really a long course, so my approach shots and putting were very much used,” said del Rosario, due for a big finish in the LPGA Tour’s farm league.
“What I noticed about my game is that I made a lot of shots below 100 yards, so I would focus on practicing those yardages just to fine-tune it a little bit more,” added the ICTSI-backed 2017 Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner, who missed the Anvaya Ladies International ruled by fellow Epson Tour campaigner Bianca Pagdanganan last February.
Kim’s closing four-under card gave her a 209 total worth P83,000 for her second runner-up effort after yielding the crown to amateur sensation Rianne Malixi at Riviera-Langer last year.
Harmie Constantino failed to sustain a three-birdie roll after five holes as she reeled back with bogeys on Nos. 7 and 13 before birdying the last for a 70.
She tied Florence Bisera, who rallied with a 68, at third at 214. Each received P63,000.
Chanelle Avaricio, the come-from-behind winner at Bacolod, wound up with a 72 to finish tied at fifth at 215 with Sarah Ababa, who fought back with her own version of a 68, and Daniella Uy, who limped with a 74 after a tournament-best 67 in the second round.
Marvi Monsalve also carded a 71 for eighth at 218 while Pamela Mariano matched par 72 for joint ninth with Korean Jane Jeong, who shot a 74, at 220.
LASCUNA UP BY 4
Meantime, Tony Lascuña shot a 67 to pad his lead to three shots despite the record-breaking 64 of long-time rival Angelo Que.
A double-bogey mishap on No. 13 didn’t unsettle him as he moved18 holes away from snapping a pair of runner-up finishes in the Visayan swing of the Philippine Golf Tour last month after building a four-stroke lead over Reymon Jaraula in third round.
“You can never tell, even if it’s a big lead. I have lost tournaments after leading in the third round and came up short while chasing the leader in some,” said Lascuña, who extended his hot run at the undulating layout after a 68-66 for a 54-hole total of 15-under 201.
“I’m happy with my game – seven birdies against a double-bogey. I will just play my game and enjoy tomorrow (today),” said the 52-year-old Lascuna, who birdied Nos. 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14 and 16 to negate a double-bogey on No. 13 after a mishit on his approach shot and a flubbed bogey-putt from eight feet.
But he found a new rival in Jaraula, who matched his five-under card in bogey-free fashion to wrest solo second at 205, and an equally hot-charging Clyde Mondilla, who also bucked a double-bogey miscue on No. 8 with a cluster of backside birdies – five – to shoot a 66 and move to sixth at 206.
Que matched Mondilla’s 10-under total over 54 holes, fighting back from as many as eight strokes down with a barrage of birdies that came in as rare as rain during summer in the first two days.