TOP Filipina pro Cyna Rodriguez and amateur star Princess Superal head the local cast as the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour opens on Wednesday with the ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido Taal Golf Club.
Rodriguez, taking a break from the LPGA Tour where she had a not-so inspiring start of a joint 72nd finish in Bahamas and missed cut stints in Coates Golf Championship and Handa Women’s Australia Open, starts with Panuma Vitayakonkomol of Thailand and Taiwan’s Ching Huang.
On a seven-win run including the Hong Kong Amateur Ladies Open and the Philippine Ladies Open early this year, the 19-year-old Superal, also winner of three local pro events, will start with Thailand’s Saranporn Langkulgasettrin and Taiwan’s Lee Tai-ling.
The 54-hole tournament serves as the kickoff leg of the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and the fifth leg of Taiwan LPGA.
Leading players from the Taiwan LPGA and golfers from Thailand, Korea, Japan and Malaysia are also seeing action.
“It was hot out there and the wind will surely be a factor,” said Superal, the former US Girls’ Junior champion, after Tuesday’s pro-am.
Dottie Ardina will be playing with Korea’s Kang Ji-won and Taiwan’s Cheng Yu-Ju, No. 10 in the current Taiwan LPGA Order of Merit.
Mia Piccio will start with Taiwan’s Cheng Cih-Hui and Korea’s Hwang Ye-Nah.
“I’m not feeling well but I’ll be alright tomorrow,” said Ardina, who skipped the pro-am tournament but worked on her short game and putting to get a feel of the greens.
“I think everybody has a chance since the course is very challenging.”
Thailand’s Kanphanitnan Muangkhumaskul, winner of the Taiwan LPGA’s Hitachi Ladies Classic, starts with compatriot Jane Lo and local amateur Yuka Saso in the in the $75,000 event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and presented by Champion and Taiwan LPGA.
Taiwan’s Yu Pei-lin, No. 8 in the Taiwan Order or Merit, has been grouped with Chen Min-jou, also of Taiwan, and local bet Lovelynn Guioguio in the tournament offering a top prize of $15,000 (about P700,000).
LPGT Sherwood winner Sarah Ababa, Luisita leg champion Cristina Corpus, former SEA Games gold medalist Chihiro Ikeda, and former Philippine Ladies Open champion Jayvie Agojo are also seeing action in the tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. and backed by adidas, Custom Clubmakers, KZG, TaylorMade, Champion, Summit Natural Drinking Water, Pacsports, Sharp and Rustans Supermarket.