CHIHIRO Ikeda returns to the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour after skipping one leg, confident of finally nailing her first win when the fourth event of the local ladies circuit is held next week at Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
Ikeda, a former SEA Games individual gold medalist, finished third in this year’s kickoff leg at Orchard and tied for second at Riviera but skipped the third stage at John Hay to honor a previous commitment to compete in a tournament in Japan.
“I feel good about my chances at Mt. Malarayat. I’ve been hitting the ball well and has picked up my rhythm and regained my confidence,” said Ikeda. “I just hope my putting will click next week.”
Also among the players to watch in the P500,000 tournament offering P100,000 to the champion is Amolkan Phalajivin of Thailand, who finished second to Rodriguez in Baguio last month.
Former Philippine Ladies Open champions Heidi Chua and Mary Grace Estuesta are also joining the hunt along with Sarah Jane Ababa, Lina de Guzman, Apple Fudolin, Lovelynn Guioguio, Eva Minoza and Lucy Landicho.
Korean Kwon Seo Yon, who placed fourth at Riviera, also signed up for the tournament along with Majorie Pulumbarit, Jan Punzalan, Anya Tanpinco, Sylvia Torres and Tracy Que.
Amateurs Angela de Villa and Choi Yeon Hwa of South Korea are also vying in the tournament backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp.
From Malarayat, the circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. goes to Cavite for the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational set Sept. 9-11 before Splendido Golf Club hosts the sixth leg from Sept. 24 to 26 in Tagaytay.
Action shifts to Valley Golf Club in Antipolo Oct. 14 to 16 for the ICTSI Valley Golf Ladies Challenge before the tour winds up at Southwoods for the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Ladies Championship set Nov. 26 to 28.