• Shootout looms as LPGT Duel unwraps

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    The lady pros’ version of The Duel—North vs. South unwraps today with skippers of both teams out to come up with surprises in a bid to startle each other for a quick start and momentum at Cangolf’s South Course in Laguna.

    Seizing control early could be a key factor for victory in this inaugural tournament for the country’s compact field of lady pros who are coming off a successful staging of the first-ever ladies pro circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

    And the success generated by the men’s Duel the last two years has also prompted the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. to stage the lady pros’ version of the Ryder Cup-style event through the backing of Nike Golf, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.

    Though they look formidable on paper with Cyna Rodriguez and Jayvie Agojo as spearheads, Team North skipper Mary Grace Estuesta has opted to downplay her team’s strength heading to today’s four-ball (best ball) matches.

    “I think we should be the tagged as the underdogs,” said Estuesta, who nevertheless hopes to draw the best from Agojo and Rodriguez in separate flights in the opener.

    Team South captain Sylvia Torres, on the other hand, is upbeat of her wards chances, saying: “I expect everybody to deliver since they are all good. But team work will be the key here.”

    Torres has pitted Sarah Ababa and Lovelynn Guioguio against Agojo and Lina de Guzman in the first flight at 9 a.m. while Estuesta partners with Majorie Pulumbarit in the next group as she tangles with her counterpart Torres and Anya Tanpinco at 9:10 a.m.

    Heidi Chua, a former Philippine Ladies Open champion like Estuesta, Rodriguez and Agojo, teams up with Lucy Landicho as they slug it out with South’s Apple Fudolin and Barsy Leonen at 9:20 a.m. while Rodriguez anchors Team North’s first day drive with Reb Bareng in an interesting duel with Chihiro Ikeda.

    Since the format is bestball, the former SEA Games gold medalist can take on Rodriguez and Bareng by her lonesome since partner Eva Miñoza will only arrive Thursday from Del Monte in time for the foursomes.

    The alternate shot format will also feature four matches while the singles—8 matches—will be played Friday. The first team to win 8.5 points clinches the Duel.

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