Golf Tour

PH bets fall by 7 shots in men’s, women’s golf

Paolo Wong failed to recover from a frontside struggle and faltered with a 75, tumbling from joint third to a share of 19th in men’s play while the ladies tandem of Lois Kaye Go and Rianne Malixi stayed too far behind despite a pair of 68s in the second round of the golf competitions of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games here Tuesday.

Though Enrique Dimayuga bounced back strong from an opening 73 with a near-impeccable 68 in hot conditions, the new national team member remained seven strokes adrift of a steady Khanh Hung Le, who broke away from a first round tie with Malaysian Malcolm Hung with a 65 behind a solid eagle-spiked backside 31.

The Vietnamese took the solo lead with a 10-under 134 total but braced for a daunting challenge in the last 18 holes as Ratchanon Chantananuwat bettered Le’s seven-under card with a 64, also highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 No. 11, as the fancied Thai, winner of an Asian Tour event last year, moved threateningly close at 136 for joint second with Malaysian Anzon Xiang, who also shot an eight-under card.

Hung slipped to fourth at 137 after a 68 even as Dimayuga moved from tied 15th to a share of seventh with Vietnam’s Dang Minh Nguyen, who shot a 69, but seven shots behind Le at 141.

Aidric Chan also recovered with a 68 but still stood far off at joint 15th at 144 while Wong fumbled with a frontside 39 marred by a double-bogey on the par-5 No. 8 to fall to a share of 19th with teammate Jaden Dumdumaya, who carded a 71.

In women’s play, Thai Eila Galitsky moved in the threshold of an expected gold medal finish with a 66 as she grabbed the lead at 135, now one stroke ahead of erstwhile leader Ng Jing Xuen of Malaysia, who slowed down with a 69 after a 67 for a 136, setting the stage for a final round shootout with the reigning Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific champion.

Singapore’s Aloysa Atienza rallied with a 68 to seize solo third at 139 but remained four strokes off Galitsky while Go and Malixi improved to a share of fifth at 142 with Navaporn Soontreeyapas, also of Thailand, who put in a 70, behind the fourth-running Foong Zi Yu of Malaysia, who assembled a 141 after a 69.

Go pressed her bid with a fiery backside 32 but settled for a one-bogey, one-birdie card at the front for a 68 while Malixi, whose campaign is backed by ICTSI, birdied three of the last five holes to submit her own version of a four-under round.

But with 142s, the Pinay aces need to go low in the final round to fan their hopes for a medal finish in the individual play.

Mafy Singson, meanwhile, groped for a 76 and dropped to joint 14th at 151.

The gold medal chase in team competitions, to be played under the match play format, will start tomorrow. Malixi chipped in for birdie to beat Singapore’s Suanne Loh and snatch a bronze medal for Team Philippines in Vietnam last year.

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