Manila Southwoods-Masters will have a proverbial bulls-eye in its back starting September 19 when the 12th PAL Ladies Interclub tees off in Cebu City as the squad shoots to rule the prestigious event for the seventh straight year.
Tree-lined Cebu Country Club, the venue of so many huge professional and amateur events in the past, will host the 72-hole tournament regarded as the unofficial club championship of the country.
SW-Masters will be without Pauline del Rosario, who turned pro after last year’s weather-shortened conquest of the field in Baguio, but the team is still brimming with so much talent and it wants to prove a point.
Host Cebu CC and newcomer Pradera Verde are the others in the Championship field and are being tipped to crowd SW-Masters, with Crystal Faith Neri, the Gabasa sisters Irina and Junia and Mary Kim Hong bannering Cebu CC.
Pradera, meanwhile, will be spearheaded by the talented Yuka Saso, a Fil-Japanese who has played for the Philippine Team several times and who is regarded as one of the finest amateurs in the land today.
With Del Rosario making waves in the pro tour here and abroad and with another regular, Abby Arevalo in the United States on a scholarship at San Jose State, Sofia Chabon, Mikhaela Fortuna and Bernice Ilas will carry the fight for SW-Masters.
Last year, the tournament was called off after 54 holes with fog and rain rendering the Camp John Hay layout in Baguio unplayable.
And SW-Masters wants to put that behind this year.
“Of course, the players feel that they have some unfinished business,” Southwoods golf director Jerome Delariarte said. “The players are very motivated to win No. 7, and they know that this year will be a tougher challenge because of the arrival of Pradera, and of course, with rival Cebu CC still there.”
Tournament sponsors Primax Broadcasting Network, Mareco Broadcasting Network, Fox Sports, Asian Air Safari, Travelife Magazine, People Asia, Tourism Promotions Board, Bombardier, PLDT and Mastercard.
Support also comes from The Filipino Channel, Asia Brewery, Alaska Corp. and Philippine National Bank.