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Monday, March 4, 2024

Uy, Fortuna test young Castil’s mettle

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Clark Freeport Zone—Two-leg winner Daniella Uy and Mikha Fortuna expect to put Velinda Castil through a severe test right in Tuesday start of the ICTSI Mimosa Plus Championship at the Mimosa Plus’ Acacia course in Pampanga here .

The three are paired in the 9 a.m. group on No. 1 with Uy, who scored back-to-back victories at Forest Hills and Del Monte, itching to launch another drive for a championship after her three-peat bid fell short at South Pacific Classic last week.

But her runner-up finish in Davao easily makes her the marked player in the 54-hole championship serving as the final leg of this year’s 10-stage Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with the former Junior World champion hinting at banking on her power again in chase of another diadem.

Daniela Uy

“Most likely, I’ll rely on my drives to get more chances for birdies kasi Mimosa is wider than South Pacific,” said Uy, who used her length to spike her recent twin victories that ended a streak of stretch-run meltdowns.

Fortuna is also out to rebound from a final round struggle at South Pacific that saw her limp with a 76 and drop to third after joining eventual winner Florence Bisera at the helm after 36 holes.

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Uy is also using the event as part of her buildup for her stint in Stage II of the Japan Qualifying next month.

“If I win again, it will be a big confidence-booster for my Japan qualifying bid,” she said.

Meanwhile, Uy and Fortuna’s experience is also likely to bear upon Castil’s game as the 15-year-old shotmaker vowed to bounce back from a missed cut stint in her first crack at the pros in South Pacific.

Following an impressive joint runner-up effort in Del Monte, Castil, from Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, decided to join the pros but cracked under pressure and missed the South Pacific cut with an 87 after shooting two 73s and a 75 at home.

But she knew she could’ve done better and she’s more than ready to prove her worth this week.

So do the other bidders in the P1 million championship, including Bisera, who is also bristling with confidence after scoring a breakthrough at South Pacific, and Harmie Constantino, who like Uy is chasing a third LPGT trophy.

Bisera kicks off her drive at 8:40 a.m. at the backside with Annika Cedo and amateur Laurea Duque, while Constantino, back-to-back winner at Luisita and Villamor, hopes to put in a strong start against Sarah Ababa and amateur Anna Kei Fernandez in the 8:40 a.m. group on No. 1.

Others in the hunt are Marvi Monsalve, Apple Fudolin, Monica Mandario, Kristine Fleetwood, Chihiro Ikeda, Rev Alcantara, Gretchen Villacencio and Pamela Mariano with the Koreans, led by Seoyun Kim, Jiwon Lee and Minyeong Kim, also all primed up for a three-day grind in the tournament supported by Kampfortis Golf, the official apparel of the organizing by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

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