Three leg winners, eight Thai aces and a slew of title hungry local bets, including 10 other amateurs, set out for a fierce battle right at the start of the P500,000 Manila Southwoods Ladies Classic today at Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Sherwood leg winner Sarah Ababa, Fil-Am Luisita stage champion Cristina Corpus and Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong, who humbled the pro field at Malarayat, all seek to come up with a strong start for the needed momentum to fuel their respective bids for a second title in the final leg of the eight-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
“With too many foreign players, it will be tough but I’ll fight to the finish and hopefully, I’ll win again,” said Ababa, who drew Thai Saraport Chamchoi and amateur Annika Cedo in the 7:30 a.m. flight.
Corpus, who skipped the Mt. Malarayat leg after beating a host of Thai players for her breakthrough win at Luisita, will start at 7:10 a.m. in the company of Lucy Landicho and amateur Koh Eu Na, also of Korea, while Hwang, who bested Cyna Rodriguez and local amateur ace Princess Superal in a thrilling finish at Malarayat last month, will play alongside Chihiro Ikeda and Sylvia Torres at 7:20 a.m.
Chamchoi is expected to spearhead the Thais drive for a second title after compatriot Meechai Wichanee ruled the second leg at Splendido, hoping to nail the elusive win after finishing third twice at Wack Wack and Luisita legs of this year’s circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Other Thai players expect to figure in the battle for the top P100,000 purse are Sarauttaya Ngam-usawan, Mookharin Ladgratok, Wannasiri Sirisampant, Jaruporn Palakawongnaayuttawa, Chayuda Singhsuwan, Chattarat Chat¬warrarat and Supakchaya Pattara¬nakrueang, who shared third place honors with Chamchoi at Luisita.
Hwang is also out to prove her worth after snaring the Malarayat crown with the Grade 9 student at Holy Infant School in Muntinlupa all set to become the only double leg winner in the circuit backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
Also expected to contend for the crown are national team mainstay and club bets Yuka Saso and Cedo, who are raring to flash their familiarity with the bunker-laden layout along with amateurs Alex Etter, Koh Eu na, also of Korea, Ashia Nocum, Isabela Miravite, Laia Barro, Annika Guangko, Sam Martirez and Kayla Nocum.
Former leg winner Jayvie Agojo is also raring to rebound from a string of poor finishes along with Anya Tan¬pinco, Lina de Guzman, Apple Fudolin, Lovelyn Guioguio, Tracy Que, Heidi Chua, Majorie Pulumbarit, Eva Miñoza and England’s Sarah Henderson.