Chihiro Ikeda returns to the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour after a one-leg absence, upbeat of her chances to finally nail the elusive win when the fourth leg of the country’s premier ladies circuit is held Aug. 13-15 at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
Ikeda, the former SEA Games individual gold medalist and spearhead of a number of national teams, finished third in this year’s kickoff leg at Orchard and tied for second at Riviera but skipped the third stage at John Hay to honor a previous commitment to compete in a Japan tournament.
Back in the hunt on the local tour, Ikeda hopes to finally put it all together and contend again for the crown in the P500,000 tournament serving as the fourth leg of an eight-stage circuit sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
“I feel good about my chances at Mt. Malarayat. I’ve been hitting the ball well and has picked up my rhythm and regained my confidence,” said Ikeda. “I just hope my putting will click next week.”
Ikeda’s return should guarantee a fierce battle for the top P100,000 purse in the 54-hole tournament backed by Nike, Pacsports, Custom Clubmakers and Sharp with Thai Amolkan Phalajivin also tipped to vie for the crown after finishing second to Rodriguez in Baguio last month.
Former Philippine Ladies Open champions Heidi Chua and Mary Grace Estuesta are also joining the hunt along with Sarah Jane Ababa, Lina de Guzman, Apple Fudolin, Lovelynn Guioguio, Eva Minoza and Lucy Landicho.
Korean Kwon Seo Yon, who placed fourth at Riviera, also signed up for the tournament along with Majorie Pulumbarit, Jan Punzalan, Anya Tanpinco, Sylvia Torres and Tracy Que.
Others seeing action are amateurs Angela de Villa and Choi Yeon Hwa of South Korea.
From Malarayat, the circuit goes to Cavite for the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Ladies Invitational oin Sept. 9-11 before Splendido Golf Club hosts the sixth leg on Sept. 24-26 in Tagaytay.
Action shifts to Valley Golf Club in Antipolo on Oct. 14-16 for the ICTSI Valley Golf Ladies Challenge before the tour winds up at Southwoods for the ICTSI Manila Southwoods Ladies Championship on Nov. 26-28.