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Daniella Uy cards 72 but compatriots falter to open As-Pac


Daniella Uy, initially considered the least-credentialed among the four Filipinas, defied expectations by emerging as the standout performer after 18 holes of the Asia Pacific Cup.

She matched par 72, trailing Thai ace Atthaya Thitikul and three others, including Korean amateur Hyosong Lee, by four strokes in Indonesia on Thursday.

Uy mixed two birdies with the same number of bogeys at the Pondok Indah Golf Course in Jakarta, providing a stern test for a diverse field competing for top honors and princely prizes in both individual competition and team play spread over three days.

The reigning Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion initiated her bid with a birdie on No. 2, but a slip on the par-3 No. 8 and a subsequent bogey on the 10th tested her mettle.

Undeterred, Uy rebounded with a birdie on No. 11, setting the stage for a gutsy run of pars that led to a pair of 36s.

That earned her a share of 14th place with Japanese player Nasa Hataoka, Diksha Dagar of India, and Korean amateur Minson Kim.

Bianca Pagdanganan posted a one-over 73, while defending champion and fellow ICTSI-backed campaigners Princess Superal and LPGA and Epson Tour veteran Dottie Ardina struggled with 74s in a shaky start for the three seasoned campaigners, who were expected to contend for the individual crown.

The big-hitting Pagdanganan failed to get on track, although she managed to bounce back from two mishaps (Nos. 2 and 8) with birdies (Nos. 4 and 12) before running out of holes for another rebound from a third miscue on No. 16. She ended up with a 37-36 for a joint 18th place.

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Superal sparked hopes for a great start to her title-retention bid with a birdie on No. 3. However, the 26-year-old grappled with the challenging course and faltered on Nos. 6 and 9, both par-5s, and yielded another stroke on No. 10, falling off the leaderboard.

She birdied the 11th but dropped another stroke on No. 16, finishing with a pair of 37s and sharing 24th place with nine others in the event organized by Asia Golf Leaders Forum.

This included Ardina, who bogeyed two of the first three holes and made miscues on Nos. 6 and 8 to negate a birdie on the par-3 fifth for a frontside 39. She settled down with pars and a birdie at the back while missing a couple of chances that hampered her comeback bid.

Thitikul, on the other hand, rode on a three-birdie binge from No. 10 on her way home, finishing with a 68 to force a four-way tie for the individual lead with compatriot Phannarai Meesom-us and Koreans Dayeon Lee and amateur Hyosong Lee.

Meesom-us turned in the best card of four-under after 11 holes, including back-to-back feats from No. 10, then endured a two-bogey, two-birdie windup for a 34-34, while Dayeon Lee shot five birdies against a bogey for a 35-33.

Away from the spotlight, Hyosong Lee sizzled with three birdies in the first four holes at the back. She gained another stroke on the par-5 18th and atoned for a bogey on the seventh with a closing birdie for a 36-32.

The four leaders took a two-stroke lead over Thai amateur Eila Galitsky, Koreans Heejeong Lim and Minbyelo Kim, and New Zealand’s Fiona Xu, who all carded matching 70s. Meanwhile, five others, including Japan’s Saki Baba, shot similar 71s to stay in the mix.

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In team competitions, Team Korea 5 set the pace with a 140, just a stroke ahead of Thailand 2 and 4, while Team Korea 3 pooled a 142.

Team PHL 1, consisting of Uy and Ardina, tied with Japan 2 at 10th with a score of 146, while Team PHL 2, featuring Pagdanganan and Superal, shared the 12th spot with Japan 1 at 145.

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