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LPGT: Daniella Uy nails Forest Hills tiara


Daniella Uy finally displayed the grit and spunk that had been lacking in her previous campaigns, culminating in a two-year search for a second victory and three near-title misses this year. She secured the ICTSI Forest Hills Classic crown in Antipolo City on Thursday.

It was a tough challenge, but the former Junior World champion endured the day-long test and pressure, ultimately prevailing by one stroke over Florence Bisera. Uy carded a final round 74 for a total of 212 over 54 holes in the P1 million championship.

The tournament serves as the seventh leg of this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.

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“I’m very happy to have won this after experiencing a lot of misses,” said Uy, heaving a sigh of relief after three failed attempts in the first six legs, including a playoff loss to Harmie Constantino at Luisita.

“This victory is also very sweet since there will be a two-month break on the LPGT,” added the 2021 Riviera-Langer leg champion.

She also drew inspiration from the presence of her friend Alyssa Valdez, who gamely joined the gallery in the closing holes. Valdez transitioned from being a volleyball superstar to an adoring fan during the awards ceremony.

She even reached out with her cell phone at the back of the crowd, attempting to capture a good shot of the winner.

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Bisera and Ababa both finished with pars, with the former matching Uy’s closing three-over par card to secure solo second place at 213, worth P86,000. Ababa finished third at 215 after a 75 and received P69,000.

Rookie pro Mikhaela Fortuna carded a 73 and claimed fourth place at 217 after finishing eighth in her first LPGT tournament at Valley. Two-leg winner Constantino ended up fifth at 220 after a 73.

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Apple Fudolin shot a 73, while Chihiro Ikeda struggled with a 75, resulting in a tie for sixth place at 221. Lois Kaye Go had a disappointing round, scoring an 80 and ending up eighth at 223. However, she earned another accolade as the low amateur in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

More importantly, Uy believes this victory, worth P120,000, will boost her confidence as she embarks on a new mission next month.

“I feel this win will give me more confidence when I play in Japan next month,” added Uy, who also took home the top prize at Valley after finishing second to amateur winner Mafy Singson.

It was indeed a heated final round battle, with Uy, Bisera, and Sarah Ababa exchanging the lead for the majority of the way. Uy eventually regained the lead for good, despite a two-bogey, birdie-less card after 13 holes, which was marred by a missed par putt from four feet on No. 8.

Bisera, who was only one stroke behind Uy after 36 holes, and Ababa, who trailed by another shot, also struggled during that stretch. Bisera, who pulled ahead with a bogey-birdie front-nine score of 35, bogeyed the first three holes on the back-nine.

Meanwhile, Ababa – who made the turn with an even-par 35 – double-bogeyed the par-4 11th.

As Bisera’s struggles continued with another mishap on No. 13 and Ababa made pars on the next two holes, Uy built a two-shot cushion with four straight pars on the back-nine. However, another mistake on No. 14 allowed Ababa to narrow the gap to one, with Bisera also in a position to capitalize, trailing the leader

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