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Q-Series golf: Guce hangs tough; del Rosario, Ardina make cut

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines made significant strides in pursuit of LPGA Tour cards as Clariss Guce, Pauline del Rosario and Dottie Ardina all made the cut after four rounds of the Q-Series in Mobile, Alabama Monday (Tuesday Manila time).

Guce endured a tough return to the par-72 Crossings course of the RTJ Magnolia Grove she dominated with a 68 in the first round, posting a three-birdie, three-bogey card for a 72 and tumbling to joint 29th. She started out strong at joint fourth, slipped to a share of ninth despite another 68 at the par-71 Falls layout Friday and dropped to joint 14th in the third round with a 70, also at Falls, Sunday after a one-day postponement due to unplayable course conditions Saturday.

Despite her slide, the US-based, two-time Epson Tour winner still stayed within the Top 45 and ties for potential Tour membership in 2024 as she assembled an eight-under 278 total after 72 holes of the grueling series. But she now stood 13 strokes behind Robyn Choi, who firmed up her lead with a second straight 64 for a 21-under 265.

The Aussie led Japanese Yuri Yoshida (65) and Mao Saigo (66) and Korean So Mi Lee (65) by three after the troika matched 268s.

Del Rosario, on the other hand, rode on the momentum of her 70 at par-72 Crossings Sunday as she birdied three of the first eight holes of the Falls course then rebounded from a mishap on No. 14 with another birdie on the 16th to fire a three-under 68 and move from a share of 59th to joint 40th with ICTSI stablemate Ardina at 280.

Ardina likewise used a strong start at Falls to fuel her fourth round charge, birdying Nos. 1 and 8 but missed posting a lower score with a bogey on No. 15 that negated her birdie on the previous hole for a 69.

But the real challenge begins Tuesday with the surviving 70 players from the starting field of 104 slugging it out for the Top 45 and ties slots for LPGA membership status.

Del Rosario and Ardina drew each other in the fifth round threesome with Alena Sharp of Canada on No. 10 of Crossings, while Guce faces young Taiwanese Yu Sang Hou and Min A Yoon of Korea in the 7:41 a.m. flight on No. 1.

After six rounds, the Top 20 and ties will play out of Category 14