YUKA Saso goes for a second straight crown in the Champion Philippine Ladies Amateur Open which starts on Tuesday at the Manila Golf and Country Club.
The tournament features 94 players, including 31 from Taiwan, six each from Singapore and the US, four from Korea, three each from Australia and Thailand and two from Japan.
The 17-year-old Saso spearheads the bid of the big 39-player local side out to extend its win run to four after Princess Superal broke Thailand’s three-year reign with a victory at Tagaytay Midlands in 2016.
Bianca Pagdanganan topped the 2017 edition at Wack Wack before Saso rallied to beat Mikha Fortuna by two at the Orchard last year.
Saso who went on to snare the individual gold medal while powering the Philippines to the team championship in the Asian Games in Jakarta.
Young Thais Yosita Khawnuna and Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and Chanettee Wannasaen are in the field, along with Korea’s Park Eun Suk and Lim Mi Jin
Japan’s Airi Mitsuhashi and Ikuko Kito also expect to figure in the title chase along with locals Nicole Abelar, Sunshine Baraquiel, Laia Barro, Sophia Blanco, Annyka Cayabyab, Laurea Duque, Sophia Legaspi, Pamela Mariano, Kayla Nocum, Rafaela Singson, Eagle Ace Superal and Rianne Malixi.