Five-shot swing pushes Pauline ahead

Pauline Del Rosario ©Mike Casper|The CubHouse
Pauline Del Rosario ©Mike Casper|The CubHouse

RAWANG [Selangor]: An all-round solid display saw Philippines’ Pauline Del Rosario snatch a two-shot advantage after the second round of the 32nd Malaysian Ladies Amateur Open (MLAO) on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old notched a two-under 70 to turn the tables on opening round local leader Nur Durriyah Damian, who saw her three-shot overnight lead erased with a round of three-over 75 at Templer Park Country Club.

Pauline totalled one-under 143 to brighten her hopes of becoming the first Filipina to win the prestigious MLAO championship since Dottie Ardina in 2007.

New Zealand’s Julianne Del Puerto Alvarez (73) was a further three strokes adrift in third while Singaporean youngster Amanda Tan returned with a 73 of her own to sit in sole fourth on 149.

Meanwhile, in an admirable show of sportsmanship, South East Asia (SEA) Games-bound amateur Loy Hee Ying disqualified herself early this morning after owning up to a mistake when she failed to report a second ball procedure during the opening round yesterday.

“I’m pretty disappointed to be disqualified but that’s golf. I owned up for a genuine mistake on my part and paid the price,” shrugged the 17-year-old reigning Malaysian Games (SUKMA) champion.

But there were little mistakes from leader Pauline, who returned with four birdies off-set by two bogeys to engineer a five-shot swing in tough scoring conditions.

“It wasn’t any easier today as they were a couple of tough pin positions but I kept it going by consistently hitting greens in regulation and giving myself more birdie chances than my opponents,” said the Manila-based lass.

Starting on the 10th, Pauline was level-par at the turn before back-to-back birdies on the 7th and 8th saw her overtake Durriyah for the outright lead.

“I could have managed a couple more birdies but just misread the breaks, especially on short putts. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the two-shot advantage because I felt I played much better today and the goal will be to keep improving,” added Pauline, who will head to the United States next month to play in a couple of junior amateur meets.

Durriyah lamented silly mistakes as she conceded four bogeys against a single birdie to face an uphill task in tomorrow’s final round.

“I hit one too many wayward iron shots and was just punished for that. I struggled with my putting all round and only have myself to blame for it. I didn’t give myself enough chances to make birdies and felt a little rusty towards the end,” said the 20-year-old national, who is returning to tournament play after a month out with a skin condition, that restricted her ability to train.

Leading second round scores (Par-72):
Malaysian unless stated
143 – Pauline Del Rosario (PHI) 73-70
145 – Nur Durriyah Damian 70-75
148 – Julianne Del Puerto Alzarez (NZL) 75-73
149 – Amanda Tan (SIN) 76-73
151 – Mun Chin Keh (NZL) 75-76, Wen Yung Keh (NZL) 74-77, Genevieve Ling I-Rynn 74-77, May Oo Khine (MYA) 74-77, Michelle Cheung (HKG) 74-77
152 – Ashley Lau Jen Wen 76-76
153 – Yuri Okada (JPN) 77-76, Inez Beatice Wanamarta (INA) 76-77, Ida Ayu Melati Putri (INA) 73-80
154 – Vanessa Bouvet (FRA) 77-77 ​

155 – Koh Sock Hwee (SIN) 80-75, Abegail Arevalo (PHI) 78-77, Rivani Adelia Sihotang (INA) 77-78
156 – Qistina Balqis Azhar 81-75, Yin May Myo (MYA) 80-76, Kim Joo Yeon (KOR) 78-78, Geraldine Wong Xiao Xuan 74-82