Hwang Min-jeong hopes to ride the momentum of her big finish at Mount Malarayat last week in pursuit of a second Ladies Philippine Golf Tour diadem as she joins the hunt in The Women’s Championship at Summit Point beginning on Wednesday in Lipa City, Batangas.
Hwang, 17, turned in one of the final round’s two best cards of one-under 71 to salvage joint third in the ICTSI Mount Malarayat Classic, a finish she hopes would help fuel her bid in the P750,000 event serving as the penultimate leg of the 12-stage of the seventh season of the country’s premier circuit put up by ICTSI.
“I didn’t play well last week because of back pains but I was glad to finish strong,” said Hwang, who points to her short game as key to her drive for a follow-up to her breakthrough win at Splendido last January.
“This week, I hope I can dish out a better showing, especially my short game,” added the 2018 Philippine Amateur champion.
But the long-limbed Korean will be up against a talent-laden roster toughened up by a slew of Thai aces coming off a stint in LPGA of Taiwan, including Saraporn Chamchoi and former LPGT leg winner Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang.
Focus, however, will be on Nemittra Juntanaket, who will be gunning for a rare back-to-back championship after a dominant six-shot romp at Mount Malarayat with runner-up Sangkagaro Pimpadsorn and joint third placer Ajira Nualraksa also tipped to contend for the top P150,000 purse in the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Meanwhile, multi-titled Chihiro Ikeda and former three-time Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez will spearhead the local challenge that includes Marvi Monsalve, Pamela Mariano, Alex Etter, Apple Fudolin and former leg winner Sarah Ababa, all hard-pressed to dish out their best against the crack international field that includes Korean Kang Dayun and Brunei’s Valerie Tan.
Completing the cast are Thais Nimmita Juntanaket, Tip Seeumpornroj, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Pasinee Thongthaengyai with amateurs Eagle Ace Superal also in the cast along with Annyka Cayabyab and Mafy Singson joining the likes of Nicole Abelar, Samantha Bruce, Samantha Dizon, Samantha Martirez, Laurea Duque, Arnie Taguines and Korean Kwon Taeyon.