Three-way encounter looms as ICTSI LPGT unwraps

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The ICTSI Wack Wack Ladies Philippine Golf Tour unfolds today with Cyna Rodriguez seeking a second straight championship, Chihiro Ikeda vowing to rebound from a runner-up finish and Mia Piccio going for a breakthrough on her first try on the local pro tour at Wack Wack’s West course.

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The fancied troika heads the compact field chasing the top P100,000 purse in the 54-hole championship with club bet Heidi Chua, Jayvie Agojo, Lovelynn Guioguio and Sarah Ababa and amateur Princess Superal also tipped to contend for the crown in the event sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc.

Others in the fold are Mary Grace Estuesta, Tracy Que, Reb Bareng, Lina de Guzman, Apple Fudolin, Lucy Landicho, Barsy Leonen, Eva Minoza Marjorie Pulumbarit, Jan Punzalan and Sylvia Torres.

Still, focus will be on Rodriguez, Ikeda and Piccio – all former members of Team ICTSI, who are all expected to come out strong and put themselves in contention in Thursday’s final round of the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“It would be nice and sweet if I can win again,” said Rodriguez, who marked her pro debut with a dominating performance in the last leg at Eagle Ridge last month.

“But with Mia and Chihiro around, I will have to play harder. It’s going to be fun and a competitive week with them here,” added Rodriguez.

Like Rodriquez, Piccio is coming into the event in top form, having clinched a berth in the second stage of the LPGA Qualifier together with Dottie Ardina.

A product of Univ. of Florida, Piccio even contended for low medal honors but slowed down in the final round and settled for joint third. Ardina, winner of the first two legs of the ICTSI LPGT at The Country Club and Canlubang, also made it to the LPGA elims Stage 2 next month.

Ikeda, on the other hand, is out to redeem herself from a lopsided setback in Canlubang where she lost by eight to Ardina. Although Ardina is skipping the circuit for the second straight time, Ikeda has vowed to go flat-out and contend for the crown in the tournament backed by Nike Golf, Pacsports, Gatorade, Sharp and Custom Clubmakers.

But Superal, who recently won the Royal Selangor crown in Malaysia, could make it a four-way battle with the ace amateur also expected to showcase her shotmaking skills and talent honed up by her year-long training under Team ICTSI coach Bong Lopez.

She actually fell just one stroke short of foiling Ardina’s title bid at TCC for runner-up honors before turning in at third place finish at Cangolf.

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