Top amateurs boost LPGT Splendido cast

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A crack amateur field, led by Team ICTSI members, beefs up the compact ICTSI Splendido Ladies Invitational field, all hoping to spoil Cyna Rodriguez’s drive for a fourth straight championship when the P500,000 event fires off tomorrow at Splendido Taal Golf Club in Tagaytay.

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Yuka Saso and Sam Martirez, fresh from victories in Kuala Lumpur the last two weeks, head the nine-player amateur cast in the 54-hole championship serving as the sixth leg of an eight-stage circuit put up by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. for the country’s top and rising golfing ladies.

Saso, 12, has added the Sabah International Junior Masters last week to her wins at the Annual Costa Mesa Championship in California last month, the Jakarta Junior World Championship last June and the Jack Nicklaus Juniors in China last May.

Martirez, on the other hand, will be coming into the event oozing with confidence following her victories in the Malaysian 100 Plus Juniors Championship and in Kota Kinabalu last week.

But ranged against the pros, led by the streaking Rodriguez, Saso and Martirez will have to raise the level of their respective games, along with ICTSI teammates Sofia Chabon and Mika Fortuna, Sam Green, Sam Bruce, Ping Jalares, and Koreans Choi Yeon Hwa and Kim So Un, to contend for the championship.

Still, focus will be on Rodriguez, who has dominated the last three legs of the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., beating Thai Amolkan Phalajivin by 11 shots at ICTSI John Hay and by 10 at ICTSI Mt. Malarayat legs while scoring a five-stroke romp over amateur Pauline del Rosario at ICTSI Eagle Ridge two weeks ago.

Phalajivin has also signed up for the event, backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp, raring to finally get back at Rodriguez and nail her maiden win, along with Chihiro Ikeda, Sarah Ababa, Apple Fudolin, Lina de Guzman, Lovelynn Guioguo, Lucy Landicho, Eva Minoza, Jan Punzalan, Majorie Pulumbarit, Anya Tanpinco, Sylvia Torres and Korean Kwon Seo Yon.

Jayvie Agojo, who ruled the second leg at ICTSI Riviera which Rodriguez skipped, is also out to atone for her poor finishes in the last two legs, hoping to finally put it all together and get another crack at the championship.

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