Dottie Ardina shoots for no less than a victory in her pro debut today (Wednesday, May 15), confident of her chances against a merry mix of players composed of former champions and emerging stars in the inaugural ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour at The Country Club in Laguna.
“I’m excited. I really worked double time in practice for this circuit,” said Ardina, the winningest player to have come out of the ranks. “My target is to win and I’ll do my best.”
The former Junior World champion has won three events this year in the run-up to her pro debut on a course she calls home, making her marked player among the compact field vying for the top P100,000 purse in the 54-hole championship sponsored by International Container Terminals Services, Inc.
Ardina, however, will have a lot of work to do in her first crack at the money circuit as she drew a rather late tee-time at 9:30 a.m. when wind condition is expected to be a lot tougher. She will be with Jan Punzalan and amateur Miya Legaspi.
Jayvie Agojo, one of the three former Philippine Ladies Open champions in the fold, is also tipped to contend for the title in the P500,000 tournament along with fellow debuting pros and former ICTSI teammates Sarah Ababa and Lovelynn Guioguio.
Agojo, the former Hong Kong Amateur Open champion and winner of the Santi Cup individual crown in the Putra Cup last year, will start at 8:20 a.m. in the company of former jungolf star Reb Bareng and amateur Marvi Monsalve.
Focus will also be on Heidi Chua and Mary Grace Estuesta, the two other Phl Ladies Open titlists out to flash vintage form along with Eva Miñoza, Sylvia Torres and Lucy Landicho.
Chua, also a former Asian Games and SEA Games bronze medalist and the lady at the helm of Fungolf at Wack Wack, and Torres will tee off at 8:10 a.m. along with top amateur Princess Superal.
Estuesta, a three-time Phl Ladies Open winner and now the golf director at Sta. Elena, drew Kristine Leonen and amateur Cyna Rodriguez, also a former Phl Ladies Open champion, at 8:40 a.m.
Anya Tanpinco and Tracy Que are also in the roster along with Lina de Guzman, Marjorie Pulumbarit and Apple Fudolin along with a host of amateurs out to humble the pros in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
Teen sisters Nikki and Sam Bruce are also expected to figure prominently in the tournament after humbling the field to finish 1-2 in the recent LPGT Qualifier at the nearby Cangolf South course along with fellow amateurs Pauline Del Rosario and Sofia Chabon of ICTSI, Daniella Uy, Nicole Constantino and Annika Cedo.
Angelo Que, a three-time Asian Tour leg winner and former Philippine Open champion, will caddy for wife Tracy in the 8:30 a.m. flight with Anya Tanpinco and Nikki Bruce.
The event serves as the kickoff leg of a five-stage circuit that will also have stops at Wack Wack, Southwoods, Camp John Hay in Baguio and Canlubang with the Asian Ladies Team Championship, an annual event at John Hay, also expected to be included in the circuit later in the year.(pr)