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LPGT: Chanelle Avaricio remains at top of Pradera Verde table despite 75

Chanelle Avaricio faded with bogeys in two of the last three holes to hobble home with a three-over 75 but stayed four strokes clear of Chihiro Ikeda after the second round of the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic, Thursday in Lubao, Pampanga.

Avaricio turned from near-flawless to flawed with three bogeys in the first seven holes while fighting off a bout with heartburn, enabling Ikeda to rally from seven down and get within one with three birdies in six holes in another scorching day.

But Avaricio, who opened with a tour-record eight-under 64 on Wednesday, birdied Nos. 12 and 15, only to falter with bogeys on Nos. 16 on a three-putt miscue and 18 on a failed bid off the bunker.

But the lead stood as Ikeda also bogeyed the 16th and ended up with a 72 while erstwhile second-running Pamela Mariano limped home with a 75 marred by three bogeys in the last eight holes, enabling Avaricio to go into the final round of the P750,000 championship put up by ICTSI with a sizeable lead.

With a five-under 139 total, Avaricio kept Ikeda, who pooled a 143, at bay as she moved 18 holes away from extending her impressive run in the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour where she won twice and posted a couple of runner-up efforts in the last four legs.

“I struggled at the front, mostly on my to-the-green shots and unlike yesterday, my putts weren’t dropping,” said Avaricio, who beat Princess Superal in sudden death at Hallow Ridge and nipped Ikeda by one at Caliraya Springs.

The former Alabama State U product placed second to Ikeda at Mt. Malarayat and shared runner-up honors with Sunshine Baraquiel and Harmie Constantino at Splendido Taal, won by amateur Mafy Singson.

#ReadMore  Princess Superal grabs lead as Del Rosario falters in ICTSI Riviera

Sarah Ababa, seeking to end a long title spell after a breakthrough win at Sherwood Hills in 2015, shot four birdies against the same number of bogeys, her second straight 72 pulling her abreast with Mariano at 144, five strokes adrift of Avaricio.

Sunshine Baraquiel also matched par 72 but the Highlands leg winner last year stood six shots off the pace at 145 while reigning OOM champion Harmie Constantino failed to recover from a four-over card after 11 holes and finished with a 76 to drop to joint sixth at 148 with Marvi Monsalve, who carded a second 74.

Korean Jane Jeong and Martina Miñoza also fumbled with 74s to remain tied at eighth at 149 while Arnie Taguines fought back with a 74 after a 77 to move to joint 10th at 151 with Florence Bisera, who made a 76.

Taguines also led the chase for low amateur honors but Mariel Tee stood a stroke behind at 152 after a 74 for joint 12th with Gretchen Villacencio, who turned in another 76 heading to the final round of the event serving as the sixth leg of this year’s LPGT.

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