MIA Piccio eyes her first Ladies Philippine Golf Tour crown as the ICTSI Forest Hills Ladies Challenge fires off on Wednesday at the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club in Antipolo.
Piccio has had a number of bad breaks in the country’s premier ladies circuit, including a one-stroke setback to Korean Lee Jeong Hwa at Manila Southwoods last last year.
She tied for fifth at Splendidoand struggled to finish joint 15th at Mt. Malarayat in March.
But she enters the P750,000 tournament in high spirits after a joint 40th effort in Stage II of the LPGA qualifying in Florida that netted her a spot in the grueling Final Stage later this month for a shot at next year’s LPGA Tour cast.
Out to foil Piccio’s bid in the 54-hole championship are former LPGA campaigner Cyna Rodriguez and the hottest player on the tour today, rookie Pauline del Rosario, who has won three of the last four tournaments in the circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Two former LPGT leg winners from Thailand – Wannasiri Sirisampant and Amolkan Phalajivin – are also in the field for the tournament sponsored by ICTSI.
Other Thais tipped to contend in the eighth leg of the 10-stage circuit backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Gol are Jaruporn P Naayutthawa, Supakchaya Pattaranakrueang, Tiranan Yoopan and Mookharin Ladgratok, also of Thailand.
From Antipolo, the circuit moves to Splendido in Tagaytay before the series winds up at The Country Club for the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters.