Thai Saruttaya Ngam-usawan returns to the scene of her first and only victory on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, hoping to end a long spell in the ICTSI Royal Northwoods Ladies Classic, which gets going tomorrow (Wednesday, April 24) at the Royal Northwoods Golf Club, Inc. in San Rafael, Bulacan.
Ngam-usawan edged Cyna Rodriguez by two to rule the event in 2016 but failed to score a follow-up since although a slew of Thai players have stepped up and kept their domination of the country’s premier ladies tour, including the last two tournaments won by Thanutra Boonraksasat at Southwoods last month and Arpichaya Yubol at Manila Golf two weeks ago.
Boonraksasat is also in the Royal Northwoods list, ready to go for another victory in the circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. along with Jaruporn Na Ayutthaya, Numa Gulyanamitta, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Tirapan Yoopan, who is likewise due for a big win.
Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, who also won at Luisita last year, is also joining the P1.5 million tournament, further boosting the Thais’ bid in the 54-hole championship backed by Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, K&G Golf Apparel, BDO, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Empire Golf and Sports and M.Y. Shokai Technology, Inc,
Focus, however, will be on the 30-year-old Ngam-usawan, who hopes to recall her winning form at the rolling Graham Marsh-designed layout which features deep bunkers and sleek putting surface.
But the Thais will be up against a fired-up local crew headed by 2017 LPGT Order of Merit winner Pauline del Rosario, multi-titled Chihiro Ikeda, former winner Sarah Ababa and Rodriguez with Alex Etter, Apple Fudolin, Daniella Uy, Eva Miñoza, Gretchen Villacencio, Marvi Monsalve, Lucy Landicho and Sheryl Villasencio all itching to spring a surprise or two.
Taiwanese Hsuan Ping Chang is also vying in the eighth leg of the seventh season of the LPGT, which also features amateurs The Country Club’s Mafy Singson, Sam Dizon, Eagle Ace Superal and Arnie Taguines along with Nicole Abelar, Annyka Cayabyab and Koreans Da Yun Kang and Tae Yon Kwon.