LUBAO, Pampanga — Chanelle Avaricio didn’t miss a beat despite missing the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour action the past three months, using a strong start and a stronger finish to shoot a 67 and storm ahead by three over amateur Mafy Singson in the ICTSI Pradera Championship here Tuesday.
Using the postponement of the LPGA Q-School Stage II to hone and sharpen up her all-around skills, Avaricio flashed top form at the Pradera Verde layout where she reigned in runaway fashion last June, birdieing three of the first eight holes then rebounding from a bogey on the par-5 No. 9 with three backside birdies.
That put the former Alabama State star at a very familiar spot in the circuit she has dominated with three victories.
“I hit a number of good iron shots that set up short birdie putts,” said Avaricio, who gained strokes on 4, 5, and 8 then made up for his lone miscue with birdies on Nos. 10, 16 and 18.
“I’ll just try to put myself in position and not be aggressive,” said Avaricio, who also ruled the Hallow Ridge and Caliraya Springs. “But it will depend on the pin placements tomorrow.”
Singson hopes to build on her 70 to gain on her fancied rival in the second round and make a stab at a second LPGT crown after humbling Avaricio and the other pros at Splendido Taal last May.
After a bogey-birdie exchange from 4, she gunned down three birdies to negate a bogey in the last eight holes for solo second.
Sunshine Baraquiel, seeking a follow-up to her breakthrough win at Highlands, blew a two-under card after five holes but recovered from bogeys on 7 and 10 with birdies on 11, 12 and 16.
The lady pilot, however, made a double bogey on 17 and tumbled to joint third with flightmate Harmie Constantino on 71s.
Constantino also squandered a two-under frontside card with a bogey on 10 while Order of Merit frontrunner and two-leg winner Chihiro Ikeda failed to measure up with Baraquiel and Constantino, finishing with a 73 for joint fifth with Florence Bisera, Marvi Monsalve, Gretchen Villacencio and Riviera leg runner up Korean Kim Seoyun.
Sarah Ababa wound up with a 74 for joint 10th with Pamela Mariano.