TAGAYTAY CITY – Pauline del Rosario proved she’s the country’s hottest player by romping to another seven-stroke victory over Cyna Rodriguez in the ICTSI Splendido Ladies Classic at the Taal Splendido Golf Club here yesterday.
That she did despite closing out with a 76 on another punishing day.
Her overnight eight-shot lead cut into half with a two-over card coupled with Chihiro Ikeda’s two-under round after 10 holes, del Rosario pounced on her rival’s poor play on the par-5 11th where she gained two shots despite a double-bogey mishap.
It was cruise control from there as del Rosario matched her opening 38 for that four-over finish and a 54-hole total of 217.
Ikeda, who nipped Thai Wannasiri Sirisampant to snap a long title spell at Forest Hills two weeks ago, signed up with a 9 on No. 11 after blowing her chance to further close in. She never recovered her bearing and bogeyed two of the last seven and limped with a 77, dropping to fifth instead at 226.
The victory, worth another R150,000, was the fourth for the rookie pro, who scored a breakthrough at Orchard and ruled the Baguio stop of the circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. She then dominated a tough field at Pradera Verde, beating no less than Symetra Tour campaigner and many-time LPGT winner Princess Superal by seven.
“I learned a lot from this victory, particularly on playing relaxed while staying focused,” said del Rosario, whose pro campaign is backed by Golf Depot and Ping.
She, however, stressed the need to improve on her long game, putting and concentration as she heads to the range starting today to prime up for the rich ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters at The Country Club in two weeks time.