Pauline del Rosario, Chichio Ikeda and Sarah Ababa, all winners on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, hope to provide a tough challenge for the fancied men of the PGT as they join the chase in the ICTSI National Pro-Am Open beginning tomorrow at the Mt. Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa City, Batangas.
Del Rosario, for one is brimming with confidence heading to the inaugural 54-hole championship sponsored by ICTSI, having become the first Filipina to win on the Taiwan LPGA last month on top of winning three titles in her rookie season on the LPGT, including the Pradera Verde crown last August where she beat Symetra Tour campaigner Princess Superal by seven.
Del Rosario will be pairing with young Annyka Cayabyag in the P2 million foursomes (alternat shot) format event which offers R360,000 to the winning pro and trophy and prizes for the top amateur.
Ikeda, also a former SEA Games gold medalist, will team up with Quintin Singson while Ababa will partner with Alrey Ceniza in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. to further the growth of Philippine golf and help produce world-class players.
It is also held in recognition of the amateurs’ role in boosting Philippine golf.
Other LPGT campaigners seeing action are Apple Fudolin, with Jimmy Dy; Eva Miñoza, with Mel Cubillo; Gretchen Villacencio, with Rene Policarpio; and Sheryl Villasencio, with Ikuko Kito.
Heading the men’s cast are top pros Clyde Mondilla, the newly crowned PGT Order of Merit winner, Jay Bayron, Jobim Carlos, Jhonnel Ababa, Ira Alido, Ferdie Aunzo. Rufino Bayron, Marvin Dumandan, Mhark Fernando, Zanieboy Gialon, Keanu Jahns, Mars Pucay, Justin Quiban, Gerald Rosales, Elmer Salvador and Orlan Sumcad.
Mondilla, winner of the Riviera Classic of the PGT Asia Tour and the Philippine Golf Tour season-ending ICTSI Players Championship last month, will have Dongbin Seo as partner in the event where the top 40 teams after 36 holes will advance to the final round.