Team Philippines hopes to measure up with the fancied Korean side and rest of the competing field as it kicks off its title drive in the 38th Queen Sirikit Cup beginning today (Wednesday, April 27) at the Ora Country Club in Jeju-do, South Korea.
Princess Superal, Pauline del Rosario and Yuka Saso, who placed second to the powerhouse Koreans the last time out in Hong Kong, are back, ready to do battle again with the hosts who are out to extend their domination of what is also known as Asia-Pacific Ladies Golf Team Championship.
After two practice rounds, the Pinay bets, whose campaign is backed and sanctioned by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines, expressed confidence of finally pulling off a rare feat although they stressed the need for a strong start and stronger finish in anticipation of the Koreans’ all-out charge to keep the crown at home.
“This is the best team that we can bring here,” said national team coach Bong Lopez, also the mentor of Team The Country Club. “The course is good for us, not too long but hilly with undulating greens. The better players will shine.”
Superal and Del Rosario primed up for event with victories in Malaysia last month with the former taking the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open crown and the latter romping off with the Johor Open title.
Only gold medalist Park Hyun-kyung is retained from last year’s champion squad but the team remained as formidable as ever with Choi Hye-jin and Lee Gayoung all pumped up to flaunt their talent and skills before home fans.
Saso gets to lead Team Phl’s bid as she tees off at 7:49 a.m. with Hong Kong’s Chole Chan and Taiwan Chen Hsuan while Superal braces for an early clash with Choi at 8:07 a.m. with Hong Kong’s Ding Virginie.
Del Rosario anchors the squad at 8:16 a.m. with Hung Jo-jua of Taiwan and Malaysian Warda Rawof.
Other teams vying in the annual event are Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, India, Myanmar, China and Japan.