Filipinas hope to finally end Thai golfers' run of victories as ladies' pro tour goes to Mt. Malarayat
Pauline del Rosario heads the group of top Filipina golfers expected to defend home soil at Malarayat. 

THE top Filipina golfers brace for a tough challenge from a huge number of Thai players in the ICTSI Champion Tour at Malarayat starting on Wednesday.

Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, winner of the Philippine Ladies Masters at Alabang Country Club in December, and former Ladies Philippine Golf Tour leg winner Wannasiri Sirisampant lead the Thailand delegation looking to complete a sweep of the first two Taiwan LPGA events in the country.

Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul won last week’s event at Splendido, extended the Thais’ domination of the local circuit after Saruttaya Ngam-usawan ruled the Royal Northwoods leg and Langkulgasettrin reigned in Alabang in the LPGT’s last two legs last year.

Dottie Ardina, 33rd at Splendido, returns to see action this week along with Cyna Rodriguez, Mia Piccio and former Philippine Ladies Open champion Princess Superal, who are all preparing for their stints in US golf tours later this month.

Hwang Ye-nah of Korea, winner at Southlinks in 2015, is also seeing action in the US $75,000 event (around P3.7 million) offering US$15,000 to the champion (around P750,000).

Korean amateur golfer Hwang Min-jeong, winner at Mt. Malarayat in 2015, is also in the field in the 54-hole championship presented by Champion and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph