Chihiro Ikeda stresses the need for a strong start to stymie Cyna Rodriguez’s drive for another crown and finally score her maiden win on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour when the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational is fired off on Tuesday at Eagle Ridge’s Aoki course in Cavite.
“I must really start out strong and shoot better than Cyna. I can’t afford to fall behind her since she’s playing very well, very consistent, She’s tough to beat,” said Ikeda of Rodriquez, who has dominated the last two legs of this year’s circuit and poised to score a third straight this week.
But Ikeda, and the rest of the compact field, will be out to stop Rodriguez with the former SEA Games gold medalist all set to end her long title spell on the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
She actually led in the opener of the ICTSI Mt. Malarayat leg last month with a one-under 71 but faltered with the a 76 in the second round, enabling Rodriguez to seize control with a 69 en route to 10-shot romp over Thai Amolkan Phalajivin.
Rodriguez also beat Phalajivin by 11 at ICTSI John Hay last July, making her the prohibitive favorite in the P500,000 event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. although Ikeda and company have vowed to put a stop on the former Philippine Ladies Open champion’s domination of the country’s premier ladies pro tour.
Like Ikeda, Phalajivin is raring to get going and get back at Rodriguez, also hopeful to finally annex her breakthrough win in this fifth leg of the eight-stage circuit backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.