CYNA Rodriguez and Princes Superal hope to build some momentum and boost their confidence heading to their Symetra Tour campaign as they lead the title chase in the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Challenge beginning today (Wednesday, March 14) at the Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club.
Winless in the first four legs of this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, Rodriguez and Superal exude confidence on the eve of the P1 million event although they remain wary of the elite field, which includes a slew of Thai and Korean aces, in the 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI.
“I’m in top shape and playing with a high level of confidence,” said Rodriguez, who has trained and prepared hard for this tournament with a stint in Korea recently.
“I hope to win this one,” added the former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner.
Superal is also due for a big win in the circuit she used to dominate, even as an amateur, with the former US Girls Juniors champion putting premium on shotmaking and iron play given the condition of the course.
“The course is tough—windy with tight fairways. But there’s a lot of names capable of winning this week but I’m confident and I hope to finally win again,” said Superal, who drew Rodriguez and Thai Jaruporn P Na Ayuttaya in the 8:20 a.m. flight.
While the two local aces are upbeat of their chances, Fil-Japanese Chihiro Ikeda has expressed guarded optimism as she guns for a follow-up to her victory at Eagle Ridge last month with a slight wrist injury.
“There’s a slight tear in my wrist but I’ll do my best to win again,” said Ikeda, who will tee off ahead of Superal and Rodriguez in the company of Thai Amolkan Phalajivin and Korean amateur Rho Hyun Ji.
Tirapan Yoopan is also out to nail her first win in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. with the Thai ace hoping to start out strong against Eva Miñoza and amateur Bernice Ilas in the 8:30 a.m. group
Other foreign bets in the fold are former leg winner Saruttaya Ngam-usawan, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang of Thailand, and amateurs Sharon Park of Canada, Lisa Kang of the US, and Bang Choeun, Kim Hui won and Jang Yun Ji of Korea.
Others vying in the event, backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf, are Apple Fudolin, Eva Miñoza, Gretchen Villacencio, Jan Punzalan, Lucy Landicho, Marvi Monsalve, Sarah Ababa, Sheryl Villasencio and Sylvia Torres.