Pinay aces face uphill battle in LPGT Taiwan
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Five of the country’s top pros brace for three days of grueling battle of shotmaking against the best of Taiwan LPGA Tour and a host of aces from Thailand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore in the Party Golfer Ladies Open firing off Oct. 3 at the National Golf Country Club in Miaoli County in Taiwan.
With the top six players in the current Taiwan LPGA Tour ranking and a slew of Thai aces bannering the elite international cast, Mia Piccio, Princess Superal, Cyna Rodriguez, Daniella Uy and Marvin Monsalve will have their work cut out for them in the $100,000 event co-sanctioned by the TLPGA and the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour.
“It’s going to be tough but we’ll do our very best,” said Superal, the current Order of Merit leader on the LPGT.
Piccio is actually taking time out from her Symetra Tour campaign to join Superal and former three-time LPGT OOM winner Rodriguez in the 54-hole tournament that marks the first time that the local circuit will be co-staging a tournament abroad as part of Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.’s effort to advance the growth of local ladies pro golf.
“Our local pros have been competing with the TLPGA ladies through the TLPGA-sanctioned LPGT tournaments that we’ve been holding twice each year the last three seasons. This time I am hoping our ladies will do well outside the Philippines,” said PGTI general manager Colo Ventosa.
But Piccio, Superal and company face a set of rivals so deep in talent, headed by current TLPGA OOM leader Yu-Ju Chen, No. 2, Hsin Lee, third ranked Szu-Han Chen, No. 4 Min-Jou Chen, fifth ranked Yi-Chen Lio and No. 6 China Huang.
Add the likes of LPGT winners Renuka Suksukont, Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, Wannasiri Sirisampant, Saruttaya Ngam-usawan, Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng, Onkanok Soisuwan and Yupaporn Kawinpakorn of Thailand, Malaysian Dianne Luke, Korean Jin Hee Park, Japan’s Ai Asano and Ayaka Nakayama and Sock-ee Koh of Singapore, the Filipinas are indeed in for a tough, rough challenge in the upcoming blue-ribbon event.
Pauline del Rosario, the reigning LPGT OOM champion and the first Filipina to win on the TLPGA Tour in the TLPGA and Royal Open crown last year, will miss next week’s event to play in the US as part of her preparations for the Qualifying School.
Still, Ventosa is confident the five Pinays will play to their true potentials and figure prominently in the chase for top honors in the event. The TLPGA and LPGT will also share the prize money when they co-stage the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Masters in February.