Saruttaya Ngam-usawan hopes to re-display to form that netted her a breakthrough victory on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour as she heads six other Thai shotmakers in the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship beginning on Tuesday at Riviera’s Langer course in Silang, Cavite.
Ngam-usawan rallied to beat former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez by two and claim the Royal Northwoods crown late last year, ending a six-year hunt for a maiden victory for the 29-year-old Thai who had previously turned in forgettable finishes in three LPGT events.
She campaigned back home early in the season and on the Ladies European Tour, stints that more than primed herself up for the P750,000 tournament serving as the sixth leg of the eight-stage circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
Other Thais vying in the 54-hole championship at the tough, ravine-laced par-71 layout are Tiranan Yoopan, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Chatprapa Siriprakob, Jaruporn Naayutthawa, Numa Gulyanamitta and Sarinee Thitiratanakorn.
Korean Euna Koh, who humbled local ace Pauline del Rosario in a playoff to snare the Luisita crown last April, also her first victory, is also in the fold, seeking another shot at the championship against the compact international field.
That includes fellow Korean Choi Soo Min, Indonesian Jessica Lydia, Fil-Am and former leg winner Cristina Corpus and local bets Anya Tanpinco, Apple Fudolin, Jan Punzalan, Lovelyn Guioguio, former leg champions Chihiro Ikeda and Sarah Ababa and Sheryl Villasencio.
A crack group of amateurs is also in the list, all raring to upstage its more experienced rivals in the 54-hole tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf
They include veteran internationalists Abby Arevalo and Miya Legaspi, Japanese Kelly Marutani, Korean da Yun Kang and local bets Kristine Torralba, Marianne Bustos and Diana Araneta.