FOCUS will be on former Junior World champion Dottie Ardina as she makes her debut as a professional in the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour teeing off Wednesday at The Country Club in Laguna.
Ardina has won three events this year in the run-up to her pro debut on a course she calls home.
“I’m excited. I really worked doubly hard in practice for this circuit,” said Ardina. “My target is to win and I’ll do my best.”
The 19-year-old Ardina has been drawn to play with Jan Punzalan and amateur Miya Legaspi at 9:30 a.m., when wind condition is expected to be a lot tougher at TCC.
Jayvie Agojo, 26, one of four former Philippine Ladies Open champions in the field, is also tipped to contend for the title in the P500,000 tournament along with fellow debuting pros and former ICTSI teammates Sarah Ababa and Lovelynn Guioguio.
Agojo, who won the Hong Kong Amateur Open and the Santi Cup individual crown in the Putra Cup last year, will start at 8:20 a.m. in the company of former jungolf star Reb Bareng and amateur Marvi Monsalve.
Eyes will also be on Heidi Chua and Mary Grace Estuesta, the two other Philippine Ladies Open titlists looking to flash vintage form along with Eva Miñoza, Sylvia Torres and Lucy Landicho.
Chua, also a former Asian Games and SEA Games bronze medalist and the lady at the helm of Fungolf at Wack Wack, will tee off at 8:10 a.m. with Torres and top amateur Princess Superal.
Estuesta, a three-time Philippine Ladies Open winner and now golf director at Sta. Elena, drew Kristine Leonen and amateur Cyna Rodriguez, also a former Philippine Ladies Open champion, at 8:40 a.m.
Anya Tanpinco and Tracy Que are also in the field along with Lina de Guzman, Marjorie Pulumbarit and Apple Fudolin along with a host of amateurs out to humble the pros in the 54-hole event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc., sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc. and offering a top prize of P100,000.
Nikki Bruce, 15, and 12-year-old sister Sam are expected to figure prominently in the tournament after humbling the field to finish 1-2 in the recent LPGT Qualifier at the nearby Cangolf South course.
Angelo Que, a three-time Asian Tour leg winner and former Philippine Open champion, will caddie for wife Tracy in the 8:30 a.m. flight with Tanpinco and Nikki Bruce.
Pauline Del Rosario and Sofia Chabon of ICTSI, Daniella Uy, Nicole Constantino and Annika Cedo are also seeing action in the event serving as the kickoff leg of a five-stage circuit that will also have stops at Wack Wack, Southwoods, Camp John Hay in Baguio and Canlubang with the Asian Ladies Team Championship, an annual event at John Hay, also expected to be included in the circuit later in the year.