SILANG, Cavite — Mafy Singson came out better than the rest in a faltering finish at the tough Langer course, posting a one-over 72 for a one-stroke lead over Rianne Malixi in an early show of force by the amateurs in the ICTSI Riviera Championship here Tuesday.
Malixi appeared headed for another fine start with a steady one-birdie, one-bogey card after 16 holes but she bogeyed the last two holes at dusk for a 73, enabling Singson, who blew an even par card with a bogey on the 17th, to move in front.
“Langer is a tough course so I just try to play steady, hit the fairways and greens,” said Singson, gunning for a second pro crown after winning the Splendido Taal leg last May.
“I had a few clumsy bogeys but then again you can’t really avoid them (bogeys) in this kind of course.”
Apple Fudolin also headed for a big first-round surprise by matching Malixi’s even par card after 15 holes on back-to-back birdie feats from No. 10 after an opening 37. But she dropped three strokes on the par-5 16th and slipped to a share of third with Chihiro Ikeda at 74.
Ikeda, seeking a third championship after topping the Mount Malarayat and Eagle Ridge-Aoki, battled back from a four-over 39 start and another bogey on No. 11 with two birdies in the last five holes to pull to within two shots of Singson.
Sarah Ababa reeled with a triple bogey seven on the challenging No. 11 and wound up with a birdie-less 75 for a share of fifth with last year’s Highlands winner Sunshine Baraquiel, who blew a one-under card after 10 holes with three bogeys and a double bogey in the last seven holes.
Harmie Constantino also groped for form and limped with a 76 to fall to joint seventh with amateurs Laurea Duque and Korean Kim Seoyun.