Taiwan—Cyna Rodriguez survived in another punishing day here and salvaged an even par 72 but Princess Superal this time failed to endure the exacting test and hobbled with a 75 as the Filipinas fell behind by seven to a young amateur who continued to flourish in severe conditions on a course she calls home.
Taiwanese Chia-Yen Wu, 14, rallied from an opening 38 with three birdies in the last nine holes behind solid iron play to save a 71, leaving behind her erstwhile pursuers after two rounds of the Party Golfers Ladies Open at the wind-raked National Golf Country Club in Miaoli County here.
Just one-up over Thai Wanchana Poruangrong with a 67 in the opening round of the $100,000 event co-sanctioned by the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and Taiwan LPGA, Wu now heads to the final 18 holes with a 138 total and a whopping five-stroke lead over fellow Taiwanese Chen Szu-Han and Yu Pei-Lin, who shot 69 and 73, respectively, and Jackie Chulya and Poruangrong, who turned in 72 and 75, respectively, for 143s.
Superal, three behind after 18 holes of play, stayed within striking distance despite a 37 start but reeled farther back with a couple of missed birdie putts and back-to-back bogeys from No. 15. She wound up with a birdie-less 75 for a 145, which Rodriguez matched with her eagle-spiked 72.
“It was tough out there…the wind kept blowing from all over, forcing you to adjust your shot in an instant and making it a lot tougher to putt,” rued Superal, who put up a strong finishing kick to get into the mix with a two-under 70 Wednesday.
But there was no big windup for back-to-back winner of LPGT Highlands and Riviera last March as conditions turned from bad to worse at day’s end with the field also needing to deal with the biting cold spawned by rain showers in the closing holes.
Chen Meng-Chu blew an opening 34 with a 38 for a second 72 and 144 for joint sixth with Thai Supamas Sangchan, who rallied with a 70.
Rodriguez, a former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner, celebrated in jest as she turned in her scorecard that yielded an eagle and two birdies against two double-bogeys.
“I’ve got no bogeys,” she paused. “But made two double-bogeys,”
She actually set in motion her rebound bid from an opening 73 with an eagle on the par-5 No. 3 but gave up the strokes just as quickly with a 6 on the next. After a par on No. 5, she dropped two strokes again the long, daunting par-4 sixth but birdied the par-5 seventh and got another stroke on No. 10 before settling for pars the rest of the way.
Daniella Uy, who fumbled with a 77 in the first round, wheeled back into contention with an impressive three-under card at the back. But the 21-year-old rookie failed to handle the pressure and ride the wind-swept condition in the last nine holes, making five bogeys in the first six holes and winding up with a 41 and a 74. She, however, made it to the final round at 151 for joint 34th.
Poruangrong, who seized control as Chia floundered in the early going in super windy conditions, wavered at the finish, bogeying four of the last six, including three straight from No. 15, enabling the young local ace to wrest back the lead with her closing 33.
Superal overshot the No. 2 green and flubbed a par-putt from short range then battled through the wind with gutsy pars on Nos. 6, 7 and 8, only to succumb at the back with a missed green and three-putt miscue for her two other bogeys.
“I’ll try to rebound tomorrow (today), hit some good shots and make the putts,” said Superal.
While Rodriguez, Superal and Uy made it to the final round that featured the 53 players who made the cut at 152, the two other Pinays bowed out, including Mia Piccio, who skied to a 77-153, and Marvi Monsalve, who limped with an 81 for a 160.