Dottie Ardina sets out for the only major crown missing in her trophy collection, hopeful that her recent victory in the Philippine Amateur will put her in good stead in the title hunt in the Championship Infinity Philippine Ladies Open 2013 beginning tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan. 16) at the Mt. Malarayat in Lipa City, Batangas.
“I’m hitting it pretty well lately but it’s a tough field and we’ll be playing on a tough, windy course, so it’s going to be difficult,” said Ardina. “It will take a lot of hard work to finally win this elusive title.”
The 18-year-old spearhead of the ICTSI-The Country Club is coming off an eight-shot romp in last week’s Philippine Amateur at Wack Wack, making her the marked player in the country’s premier ladies championship presented by Champion Infinity.
“This is one title that she hasn’t won and it’s a big challenge for her since she often comes in poor form in the past Opens. But now, she’s in tip-top shape,” said ICTSI-TCC coach Bong Lopez, referring to Ardina, who won the Penang and Taiwan Amateur titles in the last quarter of 2012 before anchoring the team’s three-title sweep in the Singapore Juniors last December.
Standing in her way is a talent-laden international field, headed by the national team mainstays of Thailand and Malaysia while Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and the US have likewise fielded in bets in the 54-hole championship organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Phils. and sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Coca Cola, Duty Free Phils., Pacsports with support from the Department of Tourism.
Providing the local challenge are Ardina’s teammates, led by 16-year-old Princess Superal, who finished second to Korean Lee Jeong Hwa last year and won a number of titles last season, including the Malaysian Juniors and the national doubles crown with Daniella Uy.
Former champion and reigning Hong Kong Amateur titlist Cyna Rodriguez and Santi Cup winner Jayvie Agojo are also in the fold along with Sarah Ababa, Lovelynn Guioguio and new ICTSI members Abegail Arevalo and Sophia Chabon.
Chanel Avaricio, who triumphed in San Diego recently, is also tipped to contend for the crown along with Sophia Blanco, Samantha Bruce, Annika Cedo, Inez del Rosario, Pauline del Rosario, Mikhaela Fortuna, Clare Legaspi, Isa Lorenzo, Sam Martirez, Felicia Medalla, Gaby Monfort, Marvi Monsalve, Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, Jan Punzalan, Ann Sabater and Andie Unson.
The event’s other backers are Bailey’s, Mancare Health Systems Inc., Group Management & Development, Inc. by Gilberto Duavit, chairman and CEO, Holland Blooms, Impact Magazine, Berenger, the official wine of the PGA tour, Spectrum Graphics, Tres Palmas, Alexis Jewellers and Alabang, Forest Hills, Manila Golf, Orchard, Canlubang, Sta. Elena and Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Chapters.(pr)