PRINCESS Superal hopes to end a long title spell on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour as she headlines the compact field in the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Challenge unfolding tomorrow (Wednesday, March 14) at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club.
The former US Girls Juniors champion used to dominate the country’s premier ladies circuit even when she was still an amateur. But after nipping then amateur Pauline del Rosario by one at Eastridge in 2016, she went on a slump, turning in a number of mediocre finishes even after coming back from the grueling Symetra Tour campaign in the US.
But she hopes to finally contend this week although a slew of local and foreign rivals have also primed themselves up for top honors in the P1 million event serving as the fifth leg of this year’s LPGT sponsored by ICTSI.
Keen competition is seen in the 54-hole championship with Highlands, hosting an LPGT event for the first time, expected to provide a different kind of challenge with its rolling fairways and sleek putting surface not to mention the hazards and the winds that come into play in most holes.
Fellow Symetra Tour campaign and former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez is also raring to bounce back from a number of so-so finishes while Chihiro Ikeda is gunning for a second leg win this year after topping the Eagle Ridge stop of the circuit last February.
Seven Thais are also in the fold, all raring to score a follow-up to compatriot Pavarisa Yoktuan’s seven-stroke romp over Ikeda, Dottie Ardina and Korean amateur Kim Hee Ji in the fourth leg at Splendido also last month. They include former leg winners Saruttaya Ngam-usawan and Amolkan Phalajivin, Jaruporn P Naayuttaya, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Tirapan Yoopan.
Others in the roster are Koreans Lee Seong Kwan and Lisa Kang along with locals Apple Fudolin, Eva Miñoza, Gretchen Villacencio, Jan Punzalan, Lucy Landicho, Marvi Monsalve, Sarah Ababa, Sheryl Villasencio and Sylvia Torres.
Meanwhile, 15 amateurs are also joining the hunt, all ready to spoil the pros bid in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.
They include Bernice Ilas, Jona Magcalayo, Alex Etter, Kristine Torralba, Laia Barro, Mafy Singson, Sam DIzon, Koreans Jang Yun Ji, Kang Da Yun, Kim Hui Won, Lee Ji Hyeon, Park Kyung Hee and Rho Hyun Ji, Japanese Kelly Marutani, and Sharon Park of Canada.
The Highlands leg actually kicks off a two-week LPGT swing with Riviera hosting the sixth leg on March 21-23 before action resumes after Easter with the ICTSI Luisita Ladies Championship on April 4-6 in Tarlac.
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