The best of the country’s ladies pro golf and a crack Thai crew slug it out one last time this year as the ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic unwraps today with a promise of slam-bang start at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.
The perennial regional rivals have slugged it out all-year long on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour although the Thais have dominated the circuit by winning six of the 11 tournaments in the just concluded 2018 season. But with LPGA Tour-bound Dottie Ardina joining the hunt, the locals have bolstered their chances to put one over the Thais this time.
Ardina gears up for an early duel of power and putting with Thais Dolnapa Phudthipinij and Chouvarest Chourkittisopon at 8 a.m. with the Filipina ace brimming with confidence coming off a number of runner-up finishes in the Symetra Tour that secured her a full card for next year’s LPGA Tour.
Pauline del Rosario and Princess Superal are also in the fold with the former out to defend the crown she won in runaway fashion last year and the latter seeking a third victory after ruling the Riviera and Midlands stops of the 2018 LPGT season.
Del Rosario, who won four tournaments last year to clinch the LPGT Order of Merit crown, slugs it out with Thai Chommapat Pongthanarak and Daniella Uy at 7 a.m. while Superal, coming off a series of qualifying tournaments in Japan, kicks off her drive against Thai Jaruporn P Na Ayutthaya and club bet amateur Annyka Cayabyab at 8:30 a.m.
Former three-time LPGT OOM winner Cyna Rodriguez has also primed herself up for the P1 million event sponsored by ICTSI, raring to snap a long title spell in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. She starts at 8:10 a.m. with Thai ace Yupaporn Kawinpakorn and Taiwanese Hsin Ning Yeh.
Alex Etter, Gretchen Villacencio, Marvi Monsalve and many-time LPGT winner Chihiro Ikeda complete the local challenge, each ready to stop the big Thai contingent out to reassert its domination of the circuit.
But the Thais are hell-bent on extending their win run with Kawinpakorn going for a third victory after ruling the Beverly Place and Summit Point legs and Onkanok Soisuwan and Wannasiri Sirisampant looking for a follow-up to their breakthrough victories in the circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.
Other Thais seeing action in the 54-hole tournament, which actually serves as the second leg of the 2019 LPGT after the John Hay tilt last October, are Alisara Wedchakama, Arpichaya Yubol, Chakansim Khamborn, Chatprapa Siriprakob, Chonlada Chayanun, Kanokwan Yospak, Omnicha Konsunthea, Pattaporn Kraturuk, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro, Preenaphan Poomklay, Trichat Cheenglab and Waralee Athcarerk.
Hsin, meanwhile, also hopes to sneak into the title race along with amateurs Junia Gabasa, Mafy Singson, Laurea Duque, Eagle Ace Superal and Cayabyab.
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