Wide-open battle looms in W EXpress RVF Cup

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With last year’s champions now in the pro ranks, the chase for top honors in both the men’s and women’s divisions is expected to be fierce when the 22nd W Express RVF Cup Amateur Golf Championship is held February 7 to 10 at the North Course of the Canlubang golf complex in Laguna.

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Japanese Yuto Katsuragawa banners a stellar field that will hardly miss the presence of last year’s winner Jobim Carlos and runner-up Justin Quiban, who are now both campaigning in the pro circuit, with the likes of Ira Alido, Kristoffer Arevalo, Luis Castro, Aidric Chan, Carl Corpus, Dan Cruz, Weiwei Gao, Jolo Magcalayo,, Ryan Monsalve, Carlo Villaroman and former national champion Ruperto Zaragosa all in the roster.

That should guarantee a shootout in all four days of the annual 72-hole championship held in honor of the late golf patron Rod Feliciano, who also served as president of the organizing National Golf Association of the Philippines.

Also tipped to contend for this year’s crown in one of NGAP’s flagship tournaments held as part of the PLDT Group National Amateur Golf Tour and backed by the MVP Sports Foundation, Cignal and Metro Pacific Investments are Matthew Abalos, Eric Gallardo, Josh Jorge, GJ Katigbak, Perry Bucay, Marc Lu, Lester Lagman, Aniceto Mandanas, Carlo Quimson, Pierre Ticzon and Paolo Wong.

A slew of foreign bets are also in the fold, including Koreans Hyeon Seung Back, Tommy Jeong, Kim Joo Hyung, Kim Jun Sik, Won Yong Hwi and Kim Yeon Hab, Japanese Koji Yasuma and Kai Yasuma, Luke Barblan of
Vietnam and Marc Newman of United Kingdom.

Keen competition is also expected in the women’s side with Yuka Saso looming as the early favorite owing to her string of victories, including her wire-to-wire triumph in the Philippine Amateur at Riviera last month.

But the Fil-Japanese ace will be facing a formidable set of challengers, headed by former national champion Harmie Constantino and the crack The Country Club team led by former Thailand Ladies Amateur Open winner Pauline del Rosario.

Other TCC mainstays expected to figure in the battle for the crown won last year’s by Symetra Tour-bound
Princess Superal are Sofia Chabon, Mikha Fortuna, Bernice Olivarez-Ilas and Rafaela Singson.

Also in the women’s roster are Nicole Abelar, Tomita Arejola, Laia Barro, Sam Bruce, Sophia Blanco, Kayla Nocum, Kristine Torralba.

Hwang Min-jeong, who won a pro tournament in 2015, heads the foreign challenge along with compatriots Jang Yun Ji, Kang Da Yun, Kim Seo Young, Yang Ju Young and Kwon Taeyon, and Japanese Riko Nagai.

Also on tap is the special division for boys and girls’ 13-years-old-and-below.

For details, contact NGAP at (02) 7065926.

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