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Thais rule Pradera Verde Classic; Ardina checks in third

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Yupaporn Kawinpakorn

Yupaporn Kawinpakorn

LUBAO, Pampanga — Yupaporn Kawinpakorn hit two clutch backside birdies to claim the hotly-disputed ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic crown, repelling Dottie Ardina on No. 12 and beating fellow Thai Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro by two with a 69 here yesterday.

The Thai veteran campaigner came out of a three-way tie after 11 holes with a birdie on the par-5 12th then held sway to the finish as Ardina, who moved to joint lead at six-under overall with back-to-back birdies from No. 11 in a flight ahead, fell behind by two with a bogey on the 14th and failed to mount a challenge again with a run of pars for a 71.

In contrast, Kawinpakorn shrugged off Sangkagaro’s challenge with another birdie from 15 feet on the 17th to churn out a second straight thee-under card, securing the victory on an eight-under 208 total worth P250,000 in this second leg of the 2019 Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.

“I expected to win because I really liked the course and I’m very happy I made it,” said Kawinpakorn, who actually struggled with her long game but more than made up for it with superb iron game and putting to close out with five birdies against two bogeys.

Sangkagaro, who kept the momentum of her fiery second day windup with a blistering start of three birdies in the first nine holes, blew an early two-stroke lead over Kawinpakorn and failed to recover from a bogey-bogey start at the back. She ended up second with a 71 and a 210 and took home P120,000.

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