Multi-leg winner Cyna Rodriguez sets out as the top favorite but Jayvie Agojo is out to defend her first and only title and Chihiro Ikeda tries to nail the elusive one as the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour resumes today with the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Classic in Silang, Cavite.
Winner of half of the eight titles disputed last year, Rodriguez remains winless after three legs of this year’s circuit, dropping a playoff loss to amateur ace Princess Superal in the ICTSI Wack Wack Ladies Invitational last month. But the long break has given the back-to-back Order of Merit champion enough time to polish her shotmaking and putting skills, hinting at another crack at the crown in the P500,000 event.
But Agojo has also toughened up for her defense of the crown won over Ikeda last year although the former Philippine Ladies Open champion’s game went on a downswing after that romp, struggling with a minor wrist injury and finishing way below expectations in the rest of the legs.
After finishing tied for 16th in the ICTSI Ladies Open, which kicked off this year’s tour sponsored by ICTSI, Agojo placed 10th at Splendido then turned in a joint sixth place effort at Wack Wack, the steady rise auguring well in her bid to get back into complete groove this week and snap a year-long spell.
“My game is okay now and my wrist is a little better than before so hopefully, I can play to my true potential. I’m really excited to compete again,” said Agojo.
But Ikeda is also itching to get into the winning act following a slew of disappointing finishes with the former SEA Games medalist also upbeat of her chances to contend for the crown in the 54-hole tournament organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
South Koreans Kim So Un and Oh Yeji, Cristina Corpus of the US and England Sarah Henderson have signed up to spice up the event, all hoping to join the growing roster of foreign winners in the country’s premier ladies golf circuit.
Korean Ye Nah and Thai Meechai Weena as the foreign winnersruled the first two legs at Southlinks and Splendido but Superal ended the foreign bets’ domination with another stellar performance she capped by nipping Rodriguez in sudden death.
Amateurs Koreans Hwang Min Jeong and Koh Eu Na and locals Annika Cedo and Vanessa Tsuitsui try to duplicate Superal’s feat as they join the title hunt along with local pros Sarah Ababa, Anya Tanpinco, Lovelynn Guioguio, Apple Fudolin, Jan Punzalan, Tracy Que, Eva Miñoza, Sylvia Torres and Majorie Pulumbarit.