Symetra Tour campaigners Dottie Ardina, Cyna Rodriguez and Princess Superal set out for the ICTSI Beverly Place Ladies Classic beginning today all fired-up for a victory that has eluded the country’s leading players in the last two legs of the 2017 Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and in the kickoff stage of this year’s circuit at Ayala Greenfield last week.
For one, Ardina has stressed the need for a strong finishing kick as she leads the locals’ bid against the expected charge of a crack Thailand contingent that swept the last two legs of last year’s edition of the country’s premier ladies circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
The Thais also took the top prize in last week’s Ayala Greenfield event ruled by Fil-Japanese amateur Yuka Saso as Ploychompoo Wilairrungrueng beat LPGT Order of Merit winner Pauline del Rosario by five.
Wilairrungrueng won’t be around this week as she and del Rosario will play in the Taiwan LPGA opening leg also slated this week. But the Thais remain a tough bunch to beat with South Forbes leg winner Yupaporn Kawinpakorn and Tiranan Yoopan bannering the squad that also includes Alisara Wedchakama, Ananya Vitayakonkomol, Aunchisa Utama, Chitawadee Duangchan, Hathaikarn Wongwaikijphaisal, Jaruporn P Na Ayutthaya, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro and Sarinee Thitiratanakorn.
But Ardina, Superal and company are all ready to get back at their perennial regional rivals and stamp their class at the short, flat but tight, bunker-laden Beverly Place layout in Mexico, Pampanga.
“At Greenfield, I struggled in the last four holes as I kind of relaxed a bit, so I need to come up with a stronger finish,” said Ardina, also a conditional player on the LPGA Tour. “But we have made the necessary adjustments over the weekend.”
Though she missed the Top 10 in last week’s event, Superal also exudes confidence of a strong showing this week where she expects to figure in the fight for the top P150,000 purse in the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.
“My game actually improved in the last two days at Greenfield and I hope to sustain it,” said Superal, who has dominated the local circuit with victories as an amateur and pro. “But I still have to fix and fine-tune some aspects of my game and hopefully, I can recall my form this week.”
Others seeing action in the second leg of the new season are Korean Euna Koh, who ruled last year’s Luisita leg, South African Madeleen Grosskopf and locals Anya Tanpinco, Apple Fudolin and former leg winners Chihio Ikeda and Sarah Ababa.
Three amateurs are also entered in the event, all seeing to duplicate Bernice Olivarez-Ilas’ feat in 2016 when The Country Club mainstay edged teammate Sam Martirez by three. They are former Junior World champion Daniella Uy and TCC mainstays Mafy Singson and Sam Dizon.