Three Thailand shotmakers joined the hunt on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, boosting the compact field clashing for the top P150,000 purse in the ICTSI Malarayat Ladies Classic which begins today at the Mt. Malarayat composite courses in Lipa, Batangas.
Saraporn Chamchoi had a couple of near misses last year although a number of her compatriots have already won in the country’s premier ladies golf circuit, including Amolkan Phalajivin in 2014 and Wichanee Meechai and Wannasiri Sirisampant last year.
But Chamchoi, who missed joining the playoff at Wack Wack and tied for third again at Luisita, is all geared up for a crack at the crown this week along with Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Chatprapa Siriprakob, guaranteeing a fierce battle for top honors in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI.
Chamchoi drew Lucy Landicho and amateur Daniella Uy in the 8 a.m. flight, Pattaranakrueang will play alongside Lina de Guzman and amateur Chanelle Avaricio at 7:50 a.m. while Siriprakob will start earlier at 7:30 a.m. in the company of Eva Miñoza and amateur Marvi Monsalve.
Still, focus will be on the local aces, headed by Chihiro Ikeda who tees off at 7:20 a.m. with Sarah Henderson of England and amateur Sophia Blanco, while last year’s Sherwood Hills leg winner Sarah Ababa drew Apple Fudolin and amateur Ikuko Ito at 8:10 a.m.
Jayvie Agojo, another former leg winner out to snap a long title spell, sets out at 7:40 a.m. with Lovelyn Guioguio and amateur Phing Jalares while Fil-Am Cristina Corpus, who scored a breakthrough at Luisita last year, duels with amateur Ginelyn Hepoit in the first flight at 7 a.m.
National champion Harmie Constantino slugs it out with Anya Tanpinco and fellow amateur Sheryl Villasencio, hoping to come up with a solid start in a bid to contend for the crown in this sixth leg of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments and backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade and Pacsports.
Ikeda posted a wire-to-wire triumph in the last leg at Orchard last month with the former SEA Games individual gold medalist beaming with confidence as she guns for back-to-back championship.