A compact, talent-laden cast braces for a fierce duel when the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour resumes with its eighth leg on Nov. 8 with the ICTSI Forest Hills Ladies Challenge at the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club in Antipolo.
Rookie pro Pauline del Rosario is back to hunt for a fourth championship in the circuit put up by ICTSI after scoring a breakthrough at Orchard, topping the Baguio stop before beating Symetra Tour campaigner and former many-time LPGT winner Princess Superal by seven strokes at Pradera Verde last August.
From Pampanga, the 18-year-old Del Rosario flew straight to Taiwan and scored a stirring come-from-behind one-shot victory over Yu Ju Chen, becoming the first Filipina to win on the Taiwan LPGA Tour.
That should make her the player to beat in the P750,000 championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. although the ICTSI, Ping and Golf Depot-backed pro expects to have her hands full this time against a crack field toughened up by the presence of Thailand aces and local shotmakers.
Symetra Tour campaigners Mia Piccio and former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez have signed up along with former leg winners Thai Wannasiri Sirisampant and Amolkan Phalajivin and Jaruporn P Naayutthawa, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Tiranan Yoopan and Mookharin Ladgratok, also of Thailand.
Others seeing action in the 54-hole championship, backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf, are Korean Euna Koh, Sarah Ababa and Chichio Ikeda, all former LPGT leg winners, South African Madeleen Grosskopf, Apple Fudolin, Anya Tanpinco, Sylvia Torres, Lucy Landicho, Sheryl Villasencio and Gretchen Villacencio.
Spicing up the event are four amateurs, including former LPGT winner Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, Sofia Chabon, Sam Dizon and Mafy Singson.
From Antipolo, the circuit moves to Splendido in Tagaytay for the penultimate leg of the 10-leg circuit on Nov. 21-23 before winding up at The Country Club for the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters.