Avaricio wrests control despite 74

Published April 21, 2022, 9:22 AM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Chanelle Avaricio (ICTSI Images)

CAVINTI, Laguna — Chanelle Avaricio surged ahead despite a 74, pouncing on Marvi Monsalve’s frontside meltdown and Chihiro Ikeda’s backside stumble to move closer to completing a back-to-back title romp on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.

Not even a three-bogey, one-birdie round in another challenging day at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club could stymies Avaricio’s charge to the top of the ICTSI Caliraya Championship at 145 after 36 holes as Monsalve shot herself in the foot with a horrible 85 on a frontside 43 after a lead-grabbing 69 Tuesday and Ikeda blew a three-under card and the lead after 11 holes with a double bogey on the 13th and a bogey on the next for a 73.

But Ikeda lay just a stroke off Avaricio at 146, which Daniella Uy matched with a gutsy 72, setting the stage for a three-way battle for top honors in the P750,000 championship.

Harmie Constantino made a 75 for fourth at 151 but stood six shots off Avaricio, who humbled Princess Superal in sudden death to snare the ICTSI Hallow Ridge crown two weeks ago.

Now, the comely former Alabama State University mainstay, who nailed her breakthrough win at Riviera-Couples last November, is 18 holes away from a third championship.

“I didn’t play as good as yesterday (Tuesday). I struggled with my second shots,” said Avaricio, who hit just one green at the back but flashed superb short game to rescue a number of pars and grab the lead.

She said she needs to keep the ball in play in the final 18 holes, adding: “Hopefully, my putts will go in.”

Ikeda went on an attack mode after seizing control on No. 11 but overshot the next green and into the hazard for double bogey then three-putted the next to reel back.

But the 2019 playoff winner over Pauline del Rosario at Midlands remained confident of her chances, saying: “Just play steady because it’s a tough course,” said the former SEA Games individual champion.

Uy also stressed the need to keep the ball in play as the former Junior World champion bids to score a follow-up to her first win at Riviera-Langer last year.

Monsalve bogeyed five of the first eight holes and dropped two strokes on the ninth, a horrendous slide that continued at the back that saw her limp with two more bogeys and a couple of double bogeys. She tumbled to joint fifth at 154 with Midlands led winner Sunshine Baraquiel, who fought back with a 73, and amateur Arnie Taguines, who skied to a 79.