Pauline del Rosario, Chichio Ikeda and Sarah Ababa, all winners on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, hope to provide a tough challenge for the fancied men of the PGT as they join the chase in the ICTSI National Pro-Am Open beginning on Tuesday at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
Del Rosario, for one is brimming with confidence heading to the inaugural 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI, having become the first Filipina to win on the Taiwan LPGA last month on top of winning three titles in her rookie season on the LPGT, including the Pradera Verde crown last August where she beat Symetra Tour campaigner Princess Superal by seven.
Del Rosario will be pairing with young Annyka Cayabyag in the P2 million foursomes (alternat shot) format event which offers P360,000 to the winning pro and trophy and prizes for the top amateur.
Ikeda, also a former SEA Games gold medalist, will team up with Quintin Singson while Ababa will partner with Alrey Ceniza in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. to further the growth of Philippine golf and help produce world-class players.
It is also held in recognition of the amateurs’ role in boosting Philippine golf.
Other LPGT campaigners seeing action are Apple Fudolin, with Jimmy Dy; Eva Minoza, with Mel Cubillo; Gretchen Villacencio, with Rene Policarpio; and Sheryl Villasencio, with Ikuko Kito.
Heading the men’s cast are top pros Clyde Mondilla, the newly crowned PGT Order of Merit winner, Jay Bayron, Jobim Carlos, Jhonnel Ababa, Ira Alido, Ferdie Aunzo. Rufino Bayron, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Zanieboy Gialon, Keanu Jahns, Mars Pucay, Justin Quiban, Gerald Rosales, Elmer Salvador and Orlan Sumcad.
Mondilla, winner of the Riviera Classic of the PGT Asia Tour and the Philippine Golf Tour season-ending ICTSI Players Championship last month, will have Dongbin Seo as partner in the event where the top 40 teams after 36 holes will advance to the final round.
The tournament, backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Champion, Summit Mineral Water, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc., will cap the PGT season and now serves as one of the side events on the PGT calendar, along with the Ryder Cup-style The Duel held every other year.
Jay Bayron will team up with Arnold Duay, Carlos with Lester Lagman, Ababa with Dave Hernandez, Alido with Michael Mendoza, Aunzo with George Ponasen, Rufino Bayron with Meynard Ko, Dumandan with Tom Kim, Fernando with Nico Sevilla;
Gialon with Jojo Enrile, Jahns with Zach Castro, Pucay with Jose Roy III, Quiban with Moulay Rhounimi, Rosales with Kit Dichavez, Salvador with Martin Guiang, and Sumcad with Arnie Fuentebella.