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LPGT: Harmie Constantino clinches Caliraya Springs championship with dramatic comeback


Harmie Constantino, showcasing her exceptional ability to thrive under pressure, once again demonstrated her knack for dramatic comebacks by defeating Pauline del Rosario for the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship crown in Cavinti, Laguna on Thursday.

The victory, marked by a decisive birdie-birdie finish at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club, came just three weeks after her remarkable recovery from a five-shot deficit at Palos Verdes in Davao.

This time, Constantino overturned a three-stroke deficit to win by two strokes with a final round 69, earning a total of 214 worth P114,000.

Reflecting on her consecutive come-from-behind victories, she said: “It just happened. There’s no particular approach to it. Ideally, I’d like to lead in every round, but the key is just to stay in the moment and play my best.”

Del Rosario, who defeated Seoyun Kim by one here last year, turned in her worst card in three days – a 74, dropping her to second place at 216, which included scores of 73 and 69. She received P80,000.

Superal also floundered when it mattered most, slipping with a 75 after back-to-back 71s to finish tied for third at 217 with 2022 champion Chanelle Avaricio, who charged back with a 71. They split the combined P122,000 prize.

Constantino’s latest triumph was even more noteworthy as it came against the best-assembled Ladies Philippine Golf Tour field in years, which included past Order of Merit champions.

2024-LPGT-Caliraya-Springs-Harmie-Constantino-1 LPGT: Harmie Constantino clinches Caliraya Springs championship with dramatic comeback Golf lpgt News  - philippine sports news

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Starting the final 18 holes three strokes behind del Rosario and Superal, Constantino displayed patience and strategic play, methodically closing the gap on the fancied leaders.

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The turning point came midway through the windy final round. As del Rosario and Superal faltered amid their own battle for supremacy, Constantino seized the opportunity, hitting a birdie on No. 11 and tying for the lead after both her rivals bogeyed the next hole.

Despite a brief challenge from del Rosario in the stretch, Constantino’s stunning birdie-birdie finish, highlighted by a clutch 24-foot putt on the 17th and a “lucky” approach shot on the last, secured the victory.

“I didn’t hit a solid second shot (on No. 17). I didn’t think it would reach the green either. But it did, so that gave me a good opportunity for birdie although it was pretty far, some 3 pins at the back of the flag,” said Constantino. “I just tried to hit it close but thank God it dropped.”

Constantino’s second shot on No. 18, which she modestly attributed to luck, also showcased her skill and resolve, setting up a birdie chance that effectively sealed her win.

“I just try to keep my shots in play and aim for the fairway,” she said of her strategic approach to the game.

The victory adds another trophy to Constantino’s collection, marking her eighth win in a flourishing career that spans just four years.

“I cherish all my wins equally,” she stressed, underscoring her humble perspective towards her growing achievements.

Apo leg winner Sarah Ababa shot a 70 to finish fifth at 218, Mikha Fortuna placed sixth at 220 after a 74, while Kim closed out with a 75 to tie Daniella Uy, who carded a 76, and Mafy Singson, who shot a 77, for seventh place at 225.

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