National players Rianne Malixi and Mafy Singson take time out from their respective overseas campaigns not only to reinforce a compact pro field in the ICTSI Valley Golf Ladies Challenge but also fuel another title run on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
The P750,000 tournament unfolds beginning Wednesday (Sept. 7) at the Valley Golf Club’s South course in Antipolo with Chihiro Ikeda seeking a third leg championship after winning at Mt. Malarayat last May and at Eagle Ridge-Aoki last July before the country’s premier ladies circuit took a two-month break.
That makes the pros hungry and driven for recognition, including two-leg winner Harmie Constantino and Sunshine Baraquiel, who are both coming off stints abroad, along with Marvi Monsalve, Sarah Ababa, Gretchen Villacencio, Lovelynn Guioguio and young guns Martina Miñoza, Kristine Fleetwood and Pamela Mariano.
But Malixi and Singson are also heading to the Valley event in top form with the former, who humbled multi-titled Princess Superal at Luisita in the kickoff leg of this year’s LPGT last March, gaining in the American Junior Golf Association and world rankings after a three-month campaign in the US.
“I’ve been prepping for this tournament with my dad (Roy),” said Malixi, who also routed the field in near-record fashion at Midlands to close out the 2021 season for her first victory on the pro tour. “I’ve also played the South course several times so I’m quite familiar with it.”
That should make her the player to watch in all three days of the championship, together with ICTSI teammate Singson, who topped the Splendido Taal leg, also last May. The rising Davaoeña star, who also won a top junior tournament in Florida last June, is likewise fresh from a duel with the world’s best in the World Amateur Golf Team Championship in France.
Joining them in the hunt for top honors in the eighth leg of the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit are fellow amateurs Eagle Ace Superal, Abigail Abarcas, Alethea Gaccion and Julianna Go while the other pros in the field are Lucy Landicho, Apple Fudolin, Majorie Pulumbarit and Eva Miñoza.
Riviera will host the next stop for the ICTSI Riviera Championship on Oct. 4-6 before Pradera Verde hosts the circuit for the second time this year on Oct. 25-27. The LPGT winds up its season in Morong, Bataan for the Anvaya Cove Ladies International on Nov. 2-4.
Meanwhile, the men of the tour will be back in the loop at Riviera with Michael Bibat expected to lead the title chase for a second crack at the championship after outlasting Tony Lascuña and Reymon Jaraula in the stretch at Eagle Ridge-Aoki last July.
The six-stage PGT will also join the LPGA back at Pradera Verde in October.