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Ardina ties for 13th as Guce falters

MANILA, Philippines – Dottie Ardina matched par 71 and settled for a joint 13th place finish as erstwhile contender Clariss Guce stumbled with a 73 in the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic won by Chinese Ruixin Liu in Scottsdale, Arizona Sunday (Monday Manila time).

Ardina, unable to mount a final round charge, finished with a two-birdie, two-bogey round for a 72-hole total of 278 following the ICTSI-backed shotmaker’s joint runner-up effort in the Casino del Sol Golf Classic in Arizona last week.

Guce, just four strokes behind third round leader Dana Fall, reeled back with a double bogey mishap on the par-3 No. 7 and struggled for the rest of the round. She fumbled with three bogeys against a birdie in the next 10 holes.

Despite a last-hole eagle, the US-based Filipina fell to Ardina’s group at six-under total.

Pauline del Rosario also posted a 73 and wound up tied 26th with 281 as the elusive Epson Tour victory continued to evade the Filipina aces.

Liu, meanwhile, rallied from out of nowhere to capture her ninth Epson Tour victory, closing out with an eagle-spiked 64 to pool a 270 and win by three strokes over Mariel Galdiano of the US, who assembled a 273 after a 69.

Fall fell with a thud after a 73, marred by three bogeys in the first five holes. She wound up with a 274 for joint third with Weiwei Zhang, who matched her compatriot Liu’s closing seven-under card at the par-71 TPC Scottsdale’s Champions course.

In New Jersey, Rose Zhang outdueled Madelene Sagstrom with a scorching windup, carding a solid 66 and winning by two strokes in the Cognizant Founders Cup at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, also Sunday.

Sagstrom and Zhang engaged in a thrilling battle throughout the final round with the former hiking her 54-hole lead to two at the turn. But Zhang surged ahead with a magnificent finish, birdying four of the last  five holes to nail her second LPGA championship on a 264 total.

Sagstrom bogeyed the first hole but regained control with four birdies in the next eight to reclaim a two-stroke lead at the turn.

She held sway with a birdie on No. 12 but failed to match Zhang’s blistering windup, even conceding a stroke on the 16th. She wound up