Avaricio, Bruce show way after 69s

Chanelle Avaricio and amateur Samantha Bruce opened with similar three-under-par 69s in separate courses at the start of the first stage of the Professional Golf Association Tour Q-School Thursday.

Avaricio, the 23-year-old top professional back home, produced a birdie on 17 to arrest a mid-game collapse at the Dinah Shore course of Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.

Anais Meyssonnier fired a 63 at Dinah Shore to take the first-round lead.

Avaricio began with a bogey but knocked in birdies on 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11 to go 5-under for the day.

But a string of three bogeys from 12 derailed her momentum until she birdied 17 to preserve a 69.

Bruce, the 21-year-old product of Seattle University, made five birdies against two bogeys at the Faldo championship course at Shadow Ridge in Palm Desert, California.

American amateur Jenny Bae was the top performer at Shadow Ridge on 66.

Bruce reached the green in two on the par-5 sixth hole to make her first birdie. She hit a nine-iron tee shot on 7 to within three

inches and stuck her approach to within a foot for back-to-back birdies.

She missed the green on 12 and three-putted 13 for bogeys but recovered with birdies on 15 and 16, the last by reaching the par-5 hole in two.

Daniella Uy and Abby Arevalo also broke par, firing 70 and 71, respectively.

Uy, who claimed her first pro title at the Riviera Golf and Country Club in Cavite last December, collected four birdies against two bogeys at Shadow Ridge.

Arevalo, who campaigns at the Epson Tour, had a roller-coaster first nine that featured three birdies against two bogeys. Coming home, she bogeyed 2 and birdied 8.

Amateur Lois Kaye Go, playing at Shadow Ridge, carded a 75, her round marred by a horrific 8 on the par-4 18th hole.

Sunshine Baraquiel, the sixth Filipina in the field, struggled with only one birdie against six bogeys for 77 at Dinah Shore.

The top 60 finishers will advance into the second stage slated 12-17 October at Plantation Golf and Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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