The ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour resumes today with former leg winner Amolkhan Phalajivin and fellow Thais Chatpara Siriprakob and Supakchaya Pattaranakrueng and local amateur ace Princess Superal boosting the compact cast clashing for top honors at the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
Phalajivin, who humbled now LPGA Tour campaigner Cyna Rodriguez to score a breakthrough at Splendido two years ago, Pattaranakrueng and Siriprakob hope to come up with a strong start to fuel their respective bids in the 54-hole tournament serving as the fourth leg of this year’s tour sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
But the Thais, who won two legs last season, will be up against a fired-up local field toughened up by a slew of talented amateurs, headed by Superal, who is out to nail her third victory in the country’s first ladies circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. at the Aoki layout.
Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, who edged The Country Club teammate Sam Martinez and Chihiro Ikeda to snare the LPGT Beverly Place Challenge crown last month, is indisposed and will not be around to shoot for a second title. But Superal and teammate Pauline del Rosario are in the fold to spearhead Team TCC’s quest for another plum in the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, adidas, KZG, Sharp, Summit Mineral Water, Srixon, Champion, TaylorMade and Pacsports.
Yuka Saso, fresh from her victory in the Philippine Juniors Match Play Championship last week, and veteran internationalist Harmie Constantino are also expected to figure prominently in the title chase along with Jona Magcalayo and Korean amateurs Hwang Min-jeong and Euna Koh.
Hwang also boasts of a victory on the LPGT, nipping Superal and Rodriguez at Mt. Malarayat last year, making the lanky 15-year-old shotmaker another player to watch.
Ikeda, meanwhile, also resumes her quest for the elusive title while Jayvie Agojo, Sarah Ababa and Fil-Am Cristina Corpus gun for their second victory in the four-year old circuit.
Siriprakob drew Lovelyn Guioguio and Magcalayo in the first flight at 7 a.m. while Phalajivin and Hwang will start at 7:10 a.m. with Apple Fudolin followed by Ababa, Constantino and Sylvia Torres at 7:20 a.m.
Superal, the former US Girls’ Juniors champion, slugs it out with Pattaranakrueng, who placed third at Wack Wack last year, and Ikeda in the featured flight at 7:30 a.m. while Agojo sets out against Eva Minoza and Koh at 7:40 a.m. followed by the group made up of Del Rosario, Anya Tanpinco and England’s Sarah Henderson.
Saso starts at 8 a.m. with Korean Ji Won Kang and Lina de Guzman while Martirez, Corpus and Lucy Landicho make up the last group teeing off at 8:10.