Mafy Singson closed out with a steady 71 that proved too much for her rivals to overcome as she bested Daniella Uy by three strokes, thwarting fellow amateur Lois Kaye Go’s late rally to secure the ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge crown in Antipolo on Thursday.
While it was far from her superb 69 in the weather-suspended play that propelled her past a throng of rivals on Wednesday for a one-stroke lead over Uy and Korean amateur Min Yeong Kim, it was enough to earn her a second Ladies Philippine Golf Tour trophy with a 54-hole total of 219.
Uy bogeyed three of the first five holes but went on a three-birdie binge from No. 10. However, she struggled with a bogey-birdie-bogey run from No. 14 and ended up with a 73 for a total of 222. Meanwhile, Sarah Ababa matched Singson’s second-round 69 to tie amateur Lois Kaye Go, who posted a 71, at 223.
While Singson claimed the championship trophy, Uy, who secured her maiden win at Riviera in 2021, took home the top purse of P90,000, while Ababa pocketed P64,500 as the second-best professional in the sixth leg of this year’s circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
“Since I was leading most of the way, I just played it steady and told myself, ‘if it’s for me, it’s for me,'” said Singson, who outperformed professionals Harmie Constantino and absentees Chanelle Avaricio and Sunshine Baraquiel by one stroke to secure her breakthrough victory at Splendido Taal last year.
However, thoughts of a second win hardly crossed her mind, as her game had been mediocre in recent months. She finished tied for 11th at Caliraya Springs and joint seventh at Villamor while providing faint assistance to the national team in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
Additionally, with an opening round of 79 at the challenging Valley South on Tuesday, things didn’t look good or promising for the Team ICTSI spearhead.
But she made a big turnaround in the second round, defying all odds, including tough conditions on the hilly layout and a two-hour weather delay, to produce a 69. Her remarkable 10-shot recovery secured her the lead, which she never relinquished.
While she began her final round with a string of pars, her flightmates Uy and Kim, who were just one stroke behind after 36 holes, struggled with three bogeys (Go) and a bogey plus a double bogey (Kim) in the first six holes.
Singson mastered the par-5 No. 7 and birdied it for the third consecutive day to solidify her lead. She also chipped in for another birdie on No. 16 but fell short on the closing par-3 hole, resulting in her only bogey.
Go, who was four shots behind at the start of the final round, made a run of three birdies and a bogey after 12 holes to become the main challenger. However, the seasoned national player fell back with a bogey on No. 13 and parred the rest for a 35-36.
First-round leader Chihiro Ikeda pulled within one stroke with a birdie on No. 2 but stumbled with a double bogey, bogey, double bogey skid from No. 7, finishing with a 79 and a total of 229, four strokes behind Luisita Champion and Villamor PH Masters winner Constantino, who failed to recover from back-to-back 76s and ended up with a 225 after