Avaricio shoots tour record 64 for big Pradera lead

Chanelle Avaricio

Chanelle Avaricio provided the fireworks the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour has been missing lately, shooting a tour record eight-under-par 64 on Wednesday to seize a five-shot lead after the first 18 holes of the P750,000 ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic in Lubao, Pampanga.

Playing a wide-open layout that rewards bombers off the tees, Avaricio was flawless at the turn for a 29 and gunned down a total of 10 birdies in an impressive display to lead Pamela Mariano by five and the veteran Chihiro Ikeda, who shot a 71, by seven.

Avaricio’s sterling round easily eclipsed the long-standing record of 67 posted by Princess Superal and Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro of Thailand, and her front nine performance was the best in the 10-year history of the local tour.

“I had a steady long game and then my putts just kept on dropping,” Avaricio, a two-time winner and runner-up in the first five legs of the season, said after birdieing three of her last five holes, which came after bogeys on Nos. 11 and 13. “I’ll try to play as steady [in the last two rounds].”

Harmie Constantino returned a level 72 to be eight behind like Sarah Ababa, while Sunshine Baraquiel, the other favorite, assembled a 73.

Ikeda, the winner at Mt. Malarayat, was working on a three-under card after her first 11 holes only to lose all of those three shots on her next three. She birdied the par-5 18th to turn in the third sub-par score of the day.

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