Dottie Ardina, Princess Superal and Cyna Rodriguez take aim at the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour crown that has eluded the country’s leading pros for quite a while with the troika going at it again in the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational beginning today at the Aoki course in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Outclassed by the Thais in the last two LPGT tournaments last year, the Symetra Tour campaigners took another beating at the start of the new season with Rodriguez, a former three-time Order of Merit winner, finishing tied for ninth at best at Ayala Greenfield won by amateur Yuka Saso last month.
Ardina, who dominated the country’s premier ladies circuit in 2013 before campaigning abroad, wound up 13th while Superal, who has stamped her class on the LPGT both as an amateur and a pro before moving to the Symetra Tour, ended up 14th.
But the troika’s finishes in the second leg at Beverly Place topped by Thai Yupaporn Kawinpakorn three weeks ago should augur well for their bids this week with Ardina placing third, Rodriguez winding up fourth and Superal ending up sixth.
They, however, face a formidable cast of rivals, led by the crack Thai side spearheaded by former LPGT leg winners Wannasiri Sirisampant and Saruttaya Ngam-usawan.
Chonlada Chayanun, who has posted a couple of runner-up finishes, is also tipped to figure prominently in the chase for the top P150,000 purse in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Other Thais seeing action are Chatprapa Siriprakob, Chayuda Singhsuwan, Mookharin Ladgratok, Pavarista Yoktuan and Tiranan Yoopan.
Singapore’s Amelia Yong is also in the fold, firming up the roster that also includes other local bets Chihiro Ikeda, Apple Fudolin, Sarah Ababa, Eva Miñoza, Gretchel Villacencio, Sheryl Villasencio, Lucy Landicho and Jenny Miyashita.
Focus will also be on Korean Hwang Min-jeong, who leads the nine-amateur contingent seeking to duplicate Saso’s wire-to-wire triumph at Ayala Greenfield.
Hwang, who has won an LPGT leg at Mt. Malarayat in 2015, is coming off a runaway triumph in the Philippine Amateur Championship at Riviera, making her one of the marked players in this week’s championship backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.