Former Philippine Ladies Open champion Chihiro Ikeda signed up for the second leg of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, adding one more threat to Dottie Ardina’s bid for a second straight crown at Cangolf’s North course beginning June 18.
Ikeda, also a former SEA Games gold medalist who turned pro early last year, took a break from her Japan tour campaign to join the first-ever local women’s pro circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and at the same re-acquaint with her former teammates in the ICTSI squad.
“I’m so glad and thankful to ICTSI for having a ladies pro tournament here in the Philippines. At least our lady pro golfers now have a tournament of their own,” said Ikeda,
The power-hitting shotmaker added that she plans to play in the other legs of the circuit, put up by ICTSI and backed by Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers, to further sharpen her skills and boost her chances when she resumes her campaign in Japan.
“The ICTSI LPGT will surely help me hone my game,” said Ikeda, who is expected to come into the 54-hole tournament in top form following a 16th place finish in the LPGA Rookie Tournament and a joint third place effort in the Root in Cup.
Ikeda will lead a slew of players out to stop Ardina from nailing a second straight crown following the latter’s come-from-behind pro debut victory over amateur Princess Superal in last month’s inaugurals of the circuit at The Country Club.
Jayvie Agojo, another former Philippines Ladies Open winner, is also in the fold, raring to improve on her fifth place finish at TCC, along with Apple Fudoline, Sarah Ababa, Lovelynn Guioguio, Anya Tanpinco, Lucy Landicho, Lina de Guzman and Reb Bareng.
Superal, however, will skip the event, together with first leg third placer Cyna Rodriguez, as the top ICTSI amateur bets resume their US campaign next week.
Also expected to vie for top honors are amateur sisters Nikki and Sam Bruce, who upstaged the veterans by posting a 1-2 finish in the LPGT qualifiers, held at the adjacent South layout.
Also seeing action are former Phl Ladies Open champion Heidi Chua, Eva Miñoza, Sylvia Torres and Tracy Que along with amateurs Bernice Ilas, Harmie Constantino, Yuka Sasu, Pauline del Rosario and Sofia Chabon of the ICTSI golf squad.