Rates, Uy weather tough front outings to stay on top – rezal404

Tough pin placements bedeviled Daniella Uy early in her round.

Tough pin placements bedeviled Daniella Uy early in her round. —PHOTO BY PILIPINAS GOLF

Joenard Rates and Daniella Uy kept their strangleholds of the lead after two days of the 2023 Villamor Philippine Masters in Pasay City, even after both struggled at the front nine on Thursday.

Committing more errors than on the first day of the P2.5 million tournament, Rates finished with a 71 in the men’s tournament after bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3, which he went through with relative ease on Wednesday. Rates, who started the day on the back nine, also had tough luck at the par-4 No. 5.

“I hit errant drives and had a couple of mishits at the front,” he said after going eight-under for the tournament.

Dutchman Guido Van der Valk improved his position, sinking six birdies to end the second round with a 67 and a seven-under total to chip into Rates’ lead.

“I just kept trying to hit fairways and greens, because once you start missing them, it’s so hard in the trees and in the high roughs, it’s that simple,” said Van der Valk of the tough-as-nails Villamor layout.

Riding five birdies to charge nearer to his competitors, Keanu Jahns rose to solo third, submitting a low round with 6-under 67.

Rough start, strong finish

Uy, meanwhile, rebounded from a three-bogey front nine start and a double bogey at the par-4 No. 10, knocking down four birdies at the back nine to salvage her round.

“I struggled at the front, [because of the] tough pin placements,” said the former Junior World Champion Uy.

“But I had three long putts for birdies at the back,” added Uy, whose 73 gave her a one-under total for the event.

Harmie Constantino improved her position with a 3-over total after a 72, taking No. 2 from reigning Order of Merit champion Chihiro Ikeda while South Korean Seoyun Kim followed suit with 4-over after a 74.

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