The ICTSI Pradera Verde Ladies Classic gets under way today with three of the country’s top guns bracing for a shootout and a slew of others raring to spoil their bid at the Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.
Symetra Tour cam-paigners Princess Superal and Cyna Rodriguez launch their respective title drive in separate flights while Pauline del Rosario drew former leg winner Chihiro Ikeda and top amateur Sofia Chabon in what promises to be a fiery start at the long but flat par-72 layout.
Superal and Rodriguez are on a break from the US circuit and the two win-ningest LPGT players have been installed as the early favorites in the seventh leg of the country’s premier ladies circuit sponsored by ICTSI.
But Del Rosario looms as the player to foil the an-ticipated Superal-Rodri-guez face-off with the former amateur hotshot coming off two victories and a runner-up finishes in the last three legs of the eight-stage tour organized by Pilipinas Golf Tourna-ments, Inc.
“If Ces or Cyna are the favorites, it’s fine with me. It actually takes the pressure off me. But I’ll be there to take care of what I need to do to win, too,” said Del Rosario, who also hurdled the first stage of the Korean LPGA Interna-tional Qualifying Tourna-ment with a strong runner-up effort recently.
Two Thailand aces – Sarinee Thitiratanakorn and Tiranan Yoopan – are also in the hunt along with Korean Euna Koh, winner of the ICTSI Luisita Challenge last April, and former leg champion Sarah Ababa and amateur Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, also a former LPGT leg winner.
Rodriguez, also a former LPGA Tour cam-paigner, will take on Thitiratanakorn and Ilas at 7:20 a.m. while Superal, who has dominated the circuit before moving to the Symetra Tour early this year, will slug it out with Yoopan and amateur Annyka Cayabyab, the 12-year-old rising star who class Pradera Verde her home, at 7:30 a.m.
Del Rosario, Ikeda and Chabon will tee off next at 7:40 a.m..
Others joining the chase for the top P150,000 purse in the event, backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf, are Majorie Pulumbarit, Apple Fudolin, Sylvia Tores, Jan Punzalan, Gretchen Villacencio, Lucy Landicho and Sheryl Villasencio.
Also seeing action are amateurs Kinjo Mana of Japan, Sheila Ward, Jonah Ilagan, Marianne Bustos, Samantha Dizon and Laia Barro and Mafy Singson of Team The Country Club.