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Ardina opens with 67


‘My chipping, when I missed the green, saved the hole, making me more confident. I was able to play every hole smoothly and have fun.’

Hannah Ruhoff/Agence france-presse DOTTIE Ardina gets off to a hot start in the IOA Golf Classic in Longwood, Florida.

Dottie Ardina holed her approach on the par-4 seventh hole for eagle, highlighting a round of four-under-par 67 at the start of the IOA Golf Classic at the Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, Florida on Friday.

The 29-year-old Filipina was in a big group sharing fifth place, four shots behind Thai Arpichaya Yubol who shot a blistering 62.

Ardina birdied the first par-5 hole on 3, bogeyed 4 before going 3-under after a birdie on 6 and eagle on 7. She made one birdie going home to go 4-under.

Bianca Pagdanganan was the next best-placed Filipina on 70.

She was 2-under through 13 holes before making her first bogey on 14. She bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 16th but dropped another shot on 17.

Pagdanganan drove the ball 290 yards, missing only two fairways and two greens but could not get the putts to drop. She completed her round with 34 putts, four shots over the tour average.

In contrast, Ardina made only 25 putts.

Also in the clubhouse was Pauline del Rosario who carded a 73.

Starting at the back, she bogeyed 11 and double bogeyed 12 to reach the turn on 3-over.

Del Rosario caught fire going home with birdies on 1, 3 and 5 before stumbling with another double bogey on 8.

Chanelle Avaricio and Clariss Guce each shot a 75 as they faced the Herculean task of making the cut on Saturday.

Abby Arevalo was the only Filipino still out on the course on 1-over after 14 holes.

The first round saw an hour and 40-minute weather delay with the entire field unable to finish due to darkness.

Play will resume at 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, with the second round beginning at 7:45 a.m.

Before play was suspended for the day, players were able to post solid scores, with one player opening a gap between her and the field.

Arpichaya Yubol is playing in her first Epson Tour event this week, and she made a statement in her first 18 holes on tour. The 21-year-old from Thailand put up four birdies on her front nine, with five birdies on her back nine, to card a bogey-free 62.

“Today was fun for me, and this tournament is my first on the Epson Tour, so I’m very excited. My short game is nice, and it makes the birdies easy,” Yubol said. “My chipping, when I missed the green, saved the hole, making me more confident. I was able to play every hole smoothly and have fun.”

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