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LPGT: Daniella Uy rallies with 70, nails second win-in-row

Daniella Uy, who could not seem to snap a run of near-misses on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, now could not seem to lose in stretch-run finishes.

The former Junior World champion battled back from three strokes down and won for the second straight time with a closing two-under 70, beating Seoyun Kim of Korea and amateurs Mafy Singson and Velinda Castil by two in the ICTSI Del Monte Championship in Bukidnon on Thursday.

She actually dominated the final 18 holes with a four-under card after 13 holes in third-to-last flight but got too excited trying to rip the field and cap her fiery run in the closing holes, leading to a couple of bogeys in the last four and giving Kim, Singson and Castil some glimmer of hope in a wet finish to the P750,000 championship.

But she dashed it with a routine par on the par-5 18th in driving rain as she signed for a pair of 35s for a 54-hole haul of 219 and took the top P90,000 purse, a couple of months after snapping a long title spell with a one-stroke escape over Yvon Bisera at Forest Hills.

“After going 4-under, I thought of pushing it more but made bogeys on Nos. 15 and 17 instead,” said Uy, who thus matched Harmie Constantino’s back-to-back title wins at Luisita and Villamor. “I worked on my tempo on every shot.”2023-LPGT-Del-Monte-Daniella-Uy LPGT: Daniella Uy rallies with 70, nails second win-in-row Golf lpgt News  - philippine sports news

Castil, 15, who showed up the pros in the first two rounds, proved resolute in her young age majority of the final round, staying in the title hunt despite a two-bogey, one-birdie card after 14 holes until she blew it all with a closing double-bogey in tough conditions.

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She wound up with a 75 and settled for joint second with Kim and Singson at 221.

Kim rallied with a bogey-free 70 while teeing off at the back, and Singson, who nailed her second LPGT win at Valley, also last June, carded a 73.

Singson later took the low amateur honors after edging the promising junior golfer in the countback.

Bisera shot a third straight 74 and wound up fifth at 222 while Constantino put in a 73 to tie Pamela Mariano at sixth with 223 after the latter, just one stroke behind Castil after 36 holes, who skied to a 76.

Juyoung Yang made a 75 for eighth at 224 while fellow Korean Minyeong Kim placed ninth at 226 after a 76 and Chihiro Ikeda shot a 74 for joint 10th at 227 with Korean amateur Jiwon Lee, who tripped with a 78,

After anchoring her Forest Hills’ romp on conservative play, Uy said she changed tactics at Del Monte, switching on the attack mode early on and sustaining her assault to the finish.

“At Forest Hills, it was more like of playing it safe. But here I was hitting my driver off the tee. I was very confident of my drives here. This course is rather long for us, so I forced myself to hit the driver and it worked since it gave me more chances for birdies,” said Uy, who thanked the host club, her family and friends for her continued success in the circuit backed by the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.’s official apparel Kampfortis Golf.

Truly, birdies on Nos. 3 and 4 put her back in contention from joint fifth and though she reeled back with a double bogey on No. 5, Uy strung up three straight birdies from No. 9 and added another on the 13th to seize control on her way to accomplishing her three-day mission.

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“I was really aiming for back-to-back. My goal is to win a lot of (LPGT) tournaments and prepare myself for my campaign abroad,” said Uy, who will be resuming her bid for a Japan LPGA Tour in Stage II of the Q-School next month.

But after her second straight win, Uy, whose campaign is backed by Januarius Holdings, Inc. Golfx, Valley Golf and Titleist Philippines, is focus on making it three-in-row in the ICTSI South Pacific Classic next week in Davao City.

Meanwhile, amateur Crista Miñoza shared the spotlight as she aced the 150-yard No. 16 on her way to a 75 and a 238. The 15-year-old used a 7-iron TaylorMade and Srixon ball to record the feat.

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