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Del Rosario grabs 4-shot ICTSI lead

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Pauline del Rosario took a giant step towards winning her first professional title after firing a one-under-par 71 to grab a four-stroke lead in the second round of the 54-hole ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac yesterday.

Del Rosario has a two-day total of 145 after a 74 in the first round.

First round co-leaders Numa Gulyanamitta and Nimmitta Juntanaket of Thailand and Korean Euna Koh where nowhere near their first round performance as they melted in extreme heat while Del Rosario thrived.

Gulyanamitta shot a 77 and took second place at 149 while Juntanaket shot a 76 and tie sister Nimmitta and Koh in third at 150, five strokes behind. Koh shot a 78 in the event sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Del Rosario shot four birdies against three bogeys to overcome a two-shot deficit in the opening round, moving her on the threshold of winning her first pro title. She had a close brush with victory in her pro debut at Splendido where she was joint runnerup.

But Del Rosario, the country’s top amateur before turning pro, said there is still work to be done.

“Luisita is so tough that the challenges vary each day. Its unpredictable greens are also hard to master,” said Del Rosario, a former Philippine Ladies Open and Thailand Ladies Amateur Open champion.

Del Rosario keyed her comeback with two birdies on each nine although she missed a chance to pad her lead when she bogeyed the 17th, a long par-3 defended by water.

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