Nemittra Juntanaket heads to Summit Point Golf and Country Club exuding confidence following a breakthrough victory at Mount Malarayat last week but bracing for a tougher challenge when the Women’s Championship at Summit Point is fired off Wednesday in Lipa City, Batangas.
The 22-year-old rising star from Pha-Yao turned what was expected to be a wild final round battle at Mount Malarayat into a cruise when she bested the field and won by six over compatriot Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro with a closing 71.
“This (win) will surely boost my confidence going to Summit Point,” said Juntanaket, after claiming her first diadem in a two-year stint on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
Though she expects the local bets to bounce back and defend their turf, Juntanaket said she’s ready to face the challenge and defy the odds with the compact field firmed up by the entry of other Thais, including Saraporn Chamchoi and former LPGT leg winner Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang.
Pimpadsorn and Mt. Malarayat leg joint third placer Ajira Nualraksa are also in the fold, both raring for another crack at a maiden crown in the country’s premier circuit put up by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
With recent John Hay stop winner Princess Superal resuming her campaign in the Japan LPGA Step Up Tour, multi-titled Chihiro Ikeda and former three-time Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez will be leading the local challenge with the duo also out to atone for their so-so finishes last week.
Gretchen Villacencio, who calls the challenging Summit Point layout home, also hopes to put up three superb rounds to contend along with Marvi Monsalve, Pamela Mariano, Alex Etter, Apple Fudolin and former leg winner Sarah Ababa.
Other Thais in the hunt are Nimmita Juntanaket, Tip Seeumpornroj, Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Pasinee Thongthaengyai.
Ten amateurs, led by last week’s best Eagle Ace Superal, will also try to spring a surprise with Annyka Cayabyab and Mafy Singson joining the likes of Nicole Abelar, Samantha Bruce, Samantha Dizon, Samantha Martirez, Laurea Duque, Arnie Taguines and Korean Kwon Taeyon in the roster of the 54-hole championship.