The top golfing ladies from the country’s leading clubs take center stage beginning today (May 29, Wednesday) as they slug it out for top honors in various divisions in the 2019 Champion Luzvimin Invitational golf tournament at Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.
Del Monte parades an intact roster for its title-retention drive but Manila Southwoods is brimming with confidence with a souped-up crew and rest of the cast are all coming into the event ready to take on the best and emerge on top after 54 holes of the annual championship held under the Molave scoring format.
The Del Monte ladies dominated their Carmona-based rivals in the final round to reign at Taal Splendido last year, reclaiming the crown they won at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2016 with Class B individual winner Sofia Abarcas spearheading their repeat bid in the premier Diamond division along with Martina Miñoza, Leslie Icoy, Kiara Montebon, Saraiah Rheaume and Maura Quijano.
But Southwoods is out for a payback, enlisting top amateur Laia Barro to anchor a talent-laden squad composed of Loralie Roberto, Claire Ong, Christine Naidoo, Claudine Garcia and Deanna Samaniego.
But the rest of the 10-team field in the centerpiece category, including five new squads, are also upbeat of their respective chances, particularly the hosts, made up of Riko Nagai, Crystal Neri, Mary Kim Hong, Catrina Martinez, Jyra Wong and Jeanette Chiu, who are raring to use their local knowledge of the tree-lined, tight layout in an attempt to pull off a stunner.
Rancho Palos Verdes, meanwhile, will be led by Charilyn Kayama, Victoria Tan, Myung Seon Park, Stella Patruno, Lilibet Crisologo and Mereane Siason while former Del Monte ace Pamela Mariano will now anchor Pueblo de Oro’s bid in the event sponsored by Champion and organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines along with Juliane Borlongan, Alethea Gaccion, Marife Carmichael, Gladys Opitz and Jennifer Chua.
Fierce action is also seen in individual play in all four divisions, including the Emerald, Ruby and Pearl categories of the event backed by Henna, San Miguel Corp., Diamond Motors, Quest Hotel, Cebu Country Club, Ayala Land Premier, Celium Fibre, Derma C, Gothong Lines and Vermogen.
Last year’s Class A individual titlist Mariel Tee will lead Team Valley Golf along with Inez del Rosario, Cielo Fregil, Jocelyn Sevilla, Belinda del Rosario and Cecile Esguerra while Eagle Ridge, Club Filipino, Fernando Air Base and Sta. Elena will be headed by Arlette Dizon, Marilou Canizares, Grace Montilla and Christine Ong, respectively.
Other teams vying in the event are Camp John Hay, Tagaytay Highlands, Camp Aguinaldo I, Forest Hills and Alabang in Emerald, Manila Golf, Orchard and Villamor, Baguio Country Club, Bacolod Golf and Country Club, Camp Aguinaldo 2 and Victorias Golf and Country Club.