GOLF: ROSALES, DALASIN NEAR WORLD CUP CONQUEST
MANILA, JANUARY 21, 2008 (STAR) Jennifer Rosales and Dorothy Delasin turned in the best second round output of four-under par 68 as the Philippines caught Korea at the helm after two rounds of play in the Women’s World Cup at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa Saturday.
The RP tandem rode on a sizzling windup to gain a piece of the lead, birdying the last three holes for a bogey-free 35-33 round in the alternate shot format that put the Philippines 18 holes away from clinching the coveted crown after a failed bid in 2005.
Counting their seven-under 65 in the better-ball format Friday, Rosales and Delasin pooled an 11-under 133, tying Koreans Ji Yai shin and Eun Hee ji, who slowed with an even par 72 after a fiery 61 in the first round, for the lead in the 18-nation tournament.
Rosales and Delasin, seasoned campaigners on the LPGA Tour, said they would approach Sunday’s final round just the same as the first two days.
“We’re really going to give it a good go,” said Rosales, who has regained her confidence and form after a swing change. “At the same time we’re going to have fun. We haven’t stopped laughing on the course all week. It’s been great.”
The RP duo, who shared runner-up honors in the inaugural staging of the event in 2005 won by Japan, caught up with the Koreans as Ji and Eun dropped three strokes on the par-4 17th.
Before play was delayed by inclement weather at lunch time, the Koreans had a four-shot lead over the Philippines and Taiwan, which carded a 69 for third at 135 going into Sunday’s final round betterball.
After the rain delay, the Koreans picked up a birdie at the 15th and a par at the 16th, arriving at the par-four 17th on 14 under par and in total control of the tournament.
But a wayward drive from Ji landed in a water hazard. Shin hit the team’s third shot short of the green and the Koreans needed three more putts to hole out for that 7.
“I was pretty confused on how to hit my drive at this hole,” Ji explained. “Shin said I should be confident and hit it, so I did.”
Despite this error, Korea was still one of only three teams to shoot under par on a day when the golf course showed its notorious teeth. Only two teams, the Philippines and Taiwan, shot in the 60s, while most of the pre-tournament favorites shot in the high 70s.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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