Thai bets wax hot

CHAKANSIM Khamborn of Thailand gears up for a final round duel with compatriot Chommapat Pongthanarak in the ICTSI Camp John Hay Ladies Championship at John Hay Golf Club in Baguio City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

BAGUIO — Chakansim Khamborn outduelled Chommapat Pongthanarak in their hunt for birdies coming in, cashing in on a two-shot swing on no. 17 to force a tie as the Thais kept their domination of the ICTSI Camp John Hay Ladies Championship Thursday at John Hay Golf Club here.

Pongthanarak looked poised to seize the solo lead with a four-under card built on a three-birdie binge at the back but stumbled with a bogey on the par-5 17th, which Khamborn birdied as they finished with identical three-under 66s and grabbed a share of lead at 135s after two rounds of the $1.5-million event.

They were among six players, who wrested control in a crowded leaderboard with Pongthanarak storming ahead with back-to-back birdies from no. 2 and rebounding from a double-bogey mishap on no. 5 with four birdies in an eight-hole stretch from no. 9.

But Pongthanarak lost her touch and momentum on the 17th, holing out with a 6 in a mishap which Khamborn took advantage of to earn a crack at the crown.

While erstwhile co-leaders Princess Superal and amateur Mariel Tee failed to keep in step and reeled back with 71 and 74, respectively, Waralee Atcharerk and Korean amateur Lee Ji Hyeon stayed in the hunt with 67 and 68 for 136 and 137, respectively, guaranteeing a final round shootout at least among four players in the tournament serving as the second leg of the new Ladies Philippine Golf Tour season.

Onkanok Soisuwan wavered at back with a 36 and settled for a second 70 for joint fifth with Superal, who failed to sustain a birdie on No. 2 with three bogeys in the next seven then blew a birdie feat on no. 12 with a final hole bogey for a 71.

They pooled 140s and fell five strokes behind the joint leaders.

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