• Team SEA, PH gear up for 2nd Pradera Challenge


    Local ace Annyka Pineda-Cayabyab hope to help anchor their respective teams’ bid in the upcoming Pradera Ladies Challenge.

    Inspired by the huge success of its inaugural staging, the Pradera Verde Ladies Challenge braces for a second blockbuster edition on January 15 to 17, 2018 with Team Southeast Asia seeking back-to-back championship and Team Philippines raring to get even at the Pradera Golf Club in Lubao, Pampanga.

    Team SEA, bannered by the leading amateur players of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, dominated the hosts in four-ball, foursomes and singles competitions and ran away with a 19 1/2-10 1/2 romp last year.

    To underscore its readiness for a repeat, the visiting side toughened up its cast, adding Singapore’s Shannon Tan to a talent-laden roster vying in the unique championship pitting the country’s leading jungolfers and amateurs against the top players from neighboring Southeast Asian countries in a Ryder Cup-style format event.

    “With souped-up squads, we expect a solid showing for both sides, guaranteeing a thrilling battle in all three days among the best young players in the region,” said Archen Cayabyab, who with Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab and swing coach Norman Sto. Domingo drew up and came up with the event last year as part of their effort to boost the country’s junior and amateur golf program.

    Thailand will be bannered by its youth brigade composed of Kultihda Pramphun, Phannarai Meesomus, Pimkwan Chookaew, Pinkaew Trachentong and returning Onkanok Soisuwan, with Team SEA beefed up by Malaysians Winnie Ng, Ashley Lau, Audrey Tan and Zulaikan Nurzian and Indonesian Michela Tjan, also a member of last year’s winning squad.

    Indonesian Michela Tjan

    But Team Phl will be coming into the event brimming with confidence, its side reinforced by a slew of top notch players, led by former World Junior Girls champion Yuka Saso, former national champion Harmie Constantino and The Country Club mainstays Mikha Fortuna, Bernie Olivarez-Ilas and Sofia Chabon.

    Thirteen-year-old Annyka Cayabyab is also all geared up for the event, eager to chip in her share with a solid showing on a course she calls home, along with Nicole Abelar, Laurea Duque, Tomi Arejola and Kayla Nocum.

    Action is expected to be fierce right in the opening day with the Scramble format in the morning and the alternate shot in the afternoon among five teams on each side. Play shifts to best ball in the second day then back to alternate shot format in the afternoon with the deciding singles (10 matches) set on Jan. 17. The team to score 15.5 points will win the perpetual Pradera trophy, according to the organizing Forthinker, Inc., headed by chairman Marilen Nunez.

    Team SEA is headed by team captains Phunampa Pornperapan, Jantsonn Kan while the hosts will be handled by skippers Rolly Romero, Daisy Reyes and Sto. Domingo.


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