Princess Superal seeks to extend her win run to three but expects a tougher, fiercer challenge from a souped-up field in the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Championship, which gets going today (Wednesday) at the Luisita Golf and Country Club in Tarlac.
Superal swept the last two legs of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in Tagaytay and Riviera in emphatic fashions, including a record-setting 16-stroke romp at Highlands. But she braces for a lot more test this week given the depth of the competing field and a challenging course that requires length and accuracy.
“I’m confident but I expect it to be a lot tougher this time,” said Superal, who went on a winless slump for a year-and-a-half before finally putting it all together in Tagaytay and at Riviera.
She vows to put up a strong start in her early duel with Gretchen Villacencio, whom she foiled at Riviera, and amateur Samantha Dizon in the 7:50 a.m. flight right after Eagle Ridge leg winner Chihiro Ikeda launches her drive for a second LPGT crown in the company of Marvi Monsalve and amateur Mikha Fortuna.
Focus will also be on Cyna Rodriguez, the former three-time Order of Merit winner raring to break a long spell in the circuit she used to dominate. She tees off at 7:30 a.m. with amateur Sofia Chabon and former leg champion Saruttaya Ngam-usawan, spearhead of a crack seven-player Thailand delegation out to re-assert its might in the country’s premier ladies tour sponsored by ICTSI.
The other Thais joining the title hunt in the P1.5 million event organized by Pilipina Golf Tournaments, Inc. are Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Thanuttra Boonraksasat, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Numa Gulyanamitta, Ananya Vitayakonkomol and Jaruporn P Na Ayuttaya.
Thitiratanakorn drew Majorie Pulumbarit and amateur Kristine Torralba at 7 a.m.; Gulyanamitta and P P Na Ayuttaya tee off next with Canadian amateur Sharon Park; Boonraksasat, member of the team that swept the first two Pradera Ladies Challenge duel with Team Philippines, will play alongside Jan Punzalan and amateur Alex Etter at 7:20 a.m.
Pattaranakrueang tees off at 8 a.m. with Eva Miñoza and amateur Jona Magcalayo while Vitayakonkomol drew Lucy Landicho and amateur Mafy Singson in the 8:10 a.m. flight.
Other backers of the event are Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.