The ICTSI Forest Hills Ladies Challenge gets going today with in-form Pauline del Rosario and two Symetra Tour campaigners heading the locals’ charge against a crack Thailand crew at the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club in Antipolo.
Del Rosario shoots for a fourth crown in the last five legs of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with the talented 18-year-old rookie pro also looking for a follow-up to her stirring come-from-behind victory in Taiwan LPGA Tour last month.
She kicks off her bid against Mia Piccio, the Symetra Tour veteran who is priming up for the LPGA Q-School Final Stage later this month, and Jaruporn P Naayutthawa, one of the six Thai aces raring to stamp their class in the eighth leg of the 10-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
The troika tees off at 8:10 a.m. after which Cyna Rodriguez, the other Symetra Tour campaigner, opens her drive in the circuit, which she dominated in its first three seasons. Rodriguez, who played one season in the LPGA Tour, will play alongside former LPGT leg winner Sarah Ababa and Thai Tiranan Yoopan.
Focus will also be on Wannarisi Sirisampant, who marked her LPGT debut with a runaway six-stroke victory over Chihiro Ikeda at Manila Southwoods in 2015. She starts at 7:50 a.m. in the company of Gretchen Villacencio and amateur Samantha Dizon.
Ikeda, on the other hand, will slug it out with Thai Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang at 8 a.m. along with Mafy Singson, the other amateur seeing action in the event sponsored by ICTSI and backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.
Amolkan Phalajivin is also making a comeback of sorts to the circuit where she won once at Splendido in 2014 with the comely Thai shotmaker hoping to put up a strong start on a windy, hazard-laden course that requires solid shotmaking and iron play.
Phalajivin will start at 7:40 a.m. in the company of Anya Tanpinco and amateur Isabela Miravite while Korean Euna Koh, also a former LPGT leg winner, drew Sheryl Villasencio and Sylvia Torres in the 7:30 a.m. group.
Mookharin Ladgratok, another Thai bets, also hopes to cash in on her early tee-off at 7:20 a.m. with Lucy Landicho and Apple Fudolin as they try to fuel their drive for the top P150,000 purse.
Meanwhile, Splendido Taal Golf will host the penultimate leg on Nov. 21-23 before the circuit winds at The Country Club for the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters next month.