Taiwanese Tzu-Yi Chang shot a tournament-best six-under 65 to seize a one-shot lead over fellow amateur Yuka Saso and Thai pro Arpichaya Yubol in the second round of the ICTSI Manila Golf Ladies Classic at the Manila Golf Club yesterday.
After an opening a 72 last Wednesday, Chang caught fire early with four birdies in the last six holes coming out.
“Very good. My putting, irons and short game were in place,” said Chang, who made just 26 putts.
At 137, Chang is just 18 holes away from snaring the crown in the $100,000 event serving as the seventh leg of the seventh season of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
In contrast, Saso struggled on the putting surface, making 34 putts, including a three-putt miscue on No, 14. She settled for a 71 to slip to second at 138 with Yubol who had a 68.
“I played good and enjoyed my game. That’s it,” said Saso, who appeared unconcerned about what was needed to win. “I’m not concerned on what score to shoot but will just play and enjoy my game.”
Japanese Mina Nakayama turned in a 69 for 140, just three strokes off Chang heading to the final round of the event sponsored by ICTSI and co-sanctioned by the LPGA of Taiwan (TLPGA) and Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The rest could be too far behind with Noritomo of Japan (68), Thai Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro (71) and Taiwan’s Hsuan Chen, Yui (72) pooling identical 141s although anything can happen in a pressure-packed finale under such hot, windy conditions.
Babe Liu, the top-ranked player from the crack Taiwan side, also battled back with a 68 to gain solo eighth at even 142 while local ace Pauline del Rosario wound up with a 72 and fell to joint ninth at 143 with Thai Chommapat Pongthanarak (73) and Ching-Ling Chang of Taiwan (74).
Princess Superal checked her skid with two birdies in the last six at the front but could only turn in a 72 and lay way behind at 146, nine strokes off the leader, with fellow pre-tournament favorite Yupaporn Kawinpakorn (74), Nemittra Juntanaket of Thailand (72) and Japanese Wakana Kinjo (72).