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LPGT: Daniella Uy caps standout year with Mimosa romp


Daniella Uy brushed off a previous setback that had ruined her three-straight title drive and promptly returned to the game. She shot a stunning eight-under 64  on Thursday to secure the ICTSI Mimosa Plus Championship on Thursday, emerging as the winningest player on this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.

What was expected to be a wild, down-to-the-wire battle among three of the Tour’s top guns turned into a five-shot cakewalk for Uy. She ignited her final round charge with two frontside eagles, leading to a score of 31 and establishing a two-shot cushion after starting the final round one stroke behind Harmie Constantino (34) and Mikha Fortuna (35).

However, the Forest Hills and Del Monte legs winner proved that she was far from finished. Uy continued to power up, hitting three birdies in a five-hole stretch starting from No. 11, securing her runaway victory with a 54-hole total of 14-under 202 at Mimosa Plus’ Acacia course in Pampanga.

“My two eagles did help me win this one,” said Uy, who drained a seven-foot putt with a wedge second shot from 126 yards on the par-5 No. 5 and set up a three-footer for another eagle on the next long hole, No. 9, with a 7-iron shot from 156 yards.

“Even after leading by three on No. 11, I still went for the par-5 14th and made another birdie. That further boosted my confidence, and I made another (birdie) on the next,” added Uy, who earned P120,000 for her latest feat in the ICTSI circuit.2023-LPGT-Mimosa-Daniela-Uy LPGT: Daniella Uy caps standout year with Mimosa romp Golf lpgt News  - philippine sports news

Despite yielding the lead with a three-birdie, one-bogey card on the front nine, Constantino had hoped to mount a charge in the last nine holes. However, mishits and missed putts dropped the Luisita and Villamor legs winner further back, ending up with a run of pars for a 70 and a solo second-place finish at 207. She received P85,000.

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Fortuna, whose solid opening round of 65 had sparked hopes of a breakthrough stint for the Oklahoma U product, rebounded from a bogey on No. 7 with two straight birdies from the next hole and stayed within three shots of Uy with a birdie on the 11th.

However, she double-bogeyed the par-5 No. 14, effectively dropping out of the title race, and needed to birdie the next hole to save a 71. She tied for third with Korean Seoyun Kim at 208. Each of them received P66,000.

The young Kim, who started the round four strokes behind Fortuna and Constantino, also rallied with an eagle-aided frontside 32 and went five-under with another birdie on the 10th. However, she bogeyed the 14th and finished with a birdie-bogey-birdie fashion for a 67.

Uy’s margin of victory surpassed amateur Rianne Malixi’s previous season’s biggest four-shot victory over Chihiro Ikeda in Iloilo last March and boded well for Uy’s upcoming campaign in the second stage of the Japan Qualifying School next month.

“I’m leaving tomorrow for Japan for the Q-School in Ibaraki. I need to work double-time in practice to familiarize myself with the course, and this win is a big confidence-booster,” said Uy, who thanked her family and friends for their continued support, including her backers GolfX, Januarius, and Titleist Philippines.

Uy, who scored her LPGT breakthrough at Riviera in a bubble setup in 2021, actually fell behind by two as Constantino, who tied Fortuna for the lead with a fiery second-round 66 on Wednesday, birdied No. 3. But the former Junior World champion switched to attack mode, coming up with two big shots that led to her first eagle, a couple of birdies that sandwiched her lone miscue on No. 7, and another eagle-3 on the ninth.

#ReadMore  Mikha Fortuna scores LPGT breakthrough

She then birdied No. 11 to pull away and finished with back-to-back feats from No. 14 to dominate the field, quite different from her one-shot triumph over Florence Bisera at Forest Hills and her come-from-behind two-stroke win over Kim and amateurs Mafy Singson and Velinda Castil at Del Monte.

Min Yeong Kim, also from Korea, placed fifth with a total score of 209 after a 70, while Sarah Ababa struggled with a 73 and finished sixth at 213, and Bisera failed to sustain a solid second-round 66 with a 74, falling to seventh at 215.

Apple Fudolin and Ikeda both carded par 72s for totals of 217 and 218, respectively, while Gretchen Villacencio scored a second straight 71 for a total of 219, securing 10th place in the 10th and final leg of this year’s circuit backed by Kampfortis Golf, the official apparel of the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

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