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Quintanilla takes command in Philippine Ladies Open with 70

MANILA, Philippines – Grace Quintanilla dominated the long holes of Manila Golf Club and fashioned out a one-under 70 as she wrested a two-stroke lead over Laurea Duque at the start of the Philippine Ladies Open in Makati City Tuesday.

The Cebuana lass flaunted her power and birdied all but one of the four par-5s while likewise flashing superb iron shots, gaining strokes on Nos. 6 and 11, both par-3s, to seize command of the centerpiece Open class division of the three-division field.

She actually fought back from a one-over card after three holes, birdying the first par-5 (No. 4) and negating her mishaps on Nos. 5 and 8 with another birdie on the seventh, also a par-5.

She then checked her up-and-down frontside 36 with another birdie on No. 15 but missed a chance on the last long hole (No. 18) for a 34 and a one-under card at the par-71 layout.

Laurea matched Quintanilla’s output in the first nine holes but dropped shots on Nos. 10 and 15 before holing out with a birdie on the last to salvage a 72, while Precious Zaragosa birdied two par-3s (Nos. 8 and 11) but stumbled with five bogeys to card a 74 for third in the 54-hole championship.

Korean Ji Won Lee, an overall age-group champion in last year’s Junior Philippine Golf Tour like Zaragosa, also gunned down birdies but made six bogeys for a 75 while Reese Ng, Alessandra Luciano and Anya Cedo all submitted 76s to fall six strokes off the leader.

Meanwhile, Melissa Lee scored an 82 and took a three-stroke lead over Singapore’s Gillian Sim, who made an 85, in Class A. Raja Anciano shot an 86 while Aily Kidwell stood at joint fourth with two others after an 88.

Grace Caffyn, on the other hand, fired a 98 to grab a one-shot lead in Class B play. Stella Patruno, Grace Montilla, Potjanart Intarasoot, also from Singapore, and Rica Baltazar all carded 99s while Ma. Cecilia Madriaga and Alice Liang from China stayed in contention with 100 and 101, respectively.