Princess Superal and Pauline del Rosario set out against a slew of aces from Thailand and Taiwan tipped to contend for the ICTSI Champion Tour at Manila Southwoods crown, upbeat of their chances along with the other local bets out to defend their turf at the Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
“I think I’m more comfortable playing at Southwoods since I’m familiar with the course,” said Del Rosario, back in the local circuit after a grueling campaign on the Taiwan LPGA Tour the last two months.
The reigning Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner, who racked up for victories last year, is also coming off a joint eighth place effort in the Ladies European Tour Thailand Championship which she led in the second round last month.
That makes her one of the early favorites in the first of two $75,000 TLPGA-sanctioned events firing off tomorrow (Wednesday) with Superal also back from the Symetra Tour to chase a third LPGT crown after romping off with the Tagaytay and Riviera leg titles last March.
“I feel good and confident playing at Southwoods,” said Superal, who with Del Rosario had trained and honed their talent and skills at the bunker-laden layout during their amateur days with The Country Club squad.
Cyna Rodriguez, a former three-time LPGT Order of Merit winner, is also raring to snap a long title spell in the ICTSI-sponsored circuit she used to dominate while Chihiro Ikeda shoots for a follow-up to her Eagle Ridge victory last February.
Superal, Del Rosario, Rodriguez and Ikeda all prime up for the championship as they lead the select group of pros playing alongside the amateur guests and officials of the event’s chief backers, including ICTSI, Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZGm PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf in the pro-am tournament today (Tuesday).
But the local top guns will be in for three days of battle against a stellar international field, led by three of Taiwan LPGA’s top 10 players, including Lee Hsin, Chen Min-Jou and Lin Tzu-chi, along with Thais Saranporn Langkulgasettrin and Renuka Suksukont, winners of the first two Philippine Ladies Masters.
Others vying in the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., are LPGT leg winners Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, Onkanok Soisuwan, Wannasiri Sirisampant, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang and Saruttaya Ngam-usawan plus the top players from from Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysian, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and the US.
Meanwhile, Tagaytay Midlands will host the other Champion Tour event next week with Korean ace Lee Jeong-hwa, who swept the two ICTSI Champion Tour legs in 2016, headlining the souped-up field in the event which offers a top purse of $15,000.