Dabawenya scores LPGT breakthrough, tops Sherwood

Davao's Sarah Ababa hoists her first ICTSI LPGT trophy after topping the Sherwood Ladies Championship.(pr)
Davao’s Sarah Ababa hoists her first ICTSI LPGT trophy after topping the Sherwood Ladies Championship.(pr)
Sarah Ababa survived a late foldup with gutsy pars then pounced on Chihiro Ikeda’s bogey on the 17th to nail her maiden win on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, ruling the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship by two strokes despite a closing 75 at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club recently.
“It’s a great feeling winning for the first time,” said Ababa, who fended off Ikeda and Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong’s early charge with clutch pars to pull away by three at the front. “I’ve been looking for this one for a long time.”
But Ababa had to buck a shaky windup to annex her first win in the three-year-old tour sponsored by ICTSI, closing out with three pars from long range and watching Ikeda fumble with a late bogey. She pocketed the top purse of P100,000 with a 54-hole total of 220, four-over par over a course that played tough in all three days.
Ikeda actually tied Ababa at the helm after four holes but a double-bogey on No. 5 and a bogey on the ninth dropped her farther back by three at the turn. She pulled to within one again with two holes left after Ababa stumbled with a bogey on No. 13 and dropped two strokes on the par-5 15th but mishit her approach shot on the par-4 17th and failed to return a six-footer for par.
She also ended up with a 75 and with Hwang, finished the way they began the final round – two shots behind.
“I’m happy with the result since it’s been a long time since I wound up second. I’ll just try to make up in the next leg,” said Ikeda, who shared runner-up honors with Hwang, who also had a 75, at 222. They halved the combined P110,000 prize.
ICTSI Riviera leg winner Cyna Rodriguez closed out her stint in the fifth leg of the eight-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. the way she started it – struggling – as the reigning Order of Merit champion skied to a 77 and turned in her worst finish of 15-over 231 for fourth.
Anya Tanpinco limped with an 80 and placed fifth at 233, Korean Kim So Un made an 81 for sixth at 234, Koh Eu Na, another Korean amateur, stood a shot farther back at 235 after a 78 while Thai Amolkan Phalajivin rebounded with a 76 for a 236.
Ikeda and Hwang moved within one early as Ababa started out with a missed-green bogey with Ikeda tying Ababa with a birdie on the par-5 No. 4 for the third straight day. But the Fil-Japanese shotmaker made a double-bogey on the fifth and bogeyed the ninth for a 38, the same output put in by Hwang as the duo fell by three heading to the backside.(pr)

Davao’s Ababa moves up with 72, nears LPGT crown

Dabawenya Sarah Ababa bucked the heat and the tough Sherwood greens to salvage an even par 72 and move into the threshold of a breakthrough win on the ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with a two-stroke lead over Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong in the second round of the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship yesterday.
Ababa hit two birdies early to overcome a two-stroke deficit off Chihiro Ikeda then checked a bogey-bogey mishap from No. 14 with a birdie from eight feet on No. 16, saving a 72 that proved to be the best in demanding condition at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite.
Counting her opening 73, Ababa pooled a 145 and took a two-shot lead over Hwang, who missed joining the Filipino shotmaker at the helm with a double-bogey on the 18th, settling for a 74 and a 147 in a tie with the overnight leader.
Ikeda, who sparked hopes of ending a long spell in the circuit sponsored by ICTSI with a solid one-under 71 Tuesday, survived a rollercoaster stint in the first 13 holes only to falter with four bogeys in the last five holes for a 76.
Korean Kim So Un carded a 77 for joint fourth at 153 with Anya Tanpinco, who limped with a 78, the same output put in by Cyna Rodriguez, who failed tor recover from an opening 76 with a 78 marred by five bogeys and a double bogey with a lone birdie to show.
The reigning back-to-back Order of Merit champion and runaway winner of the last leg at Riviera last month, fell farther back at 154, nine shots off Ababa, now 18 holes away from improving on her joint runner-up finish at Riviera and ending a three-year search for a championship.
“I just went out there and played my game, hit a chip-in birdie on No. 5 and birdied the par-5 No. 8 for the second straight day,” said Ababa. “I actually struggled in last few holes and made bogeys but sank a long putt on No. 16 to keep me going.”
But Hwang loomed as a serious threat as the young shotmaker held her ground against the pros with a gutsy round of two birdies against two bogeys and a slew of regulation pars on the hard greens of Sherwood until she wavered with that last-hole mishap.
Ikeda is also expected to rebound from a poor finish with a strong start in today’s final round where she hopes to apply the pressure early on Ababa and give herself a crack at the crown in the fifth leg of the eight-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, inc.
Another Korean amateur, Koh Eu Na, shot a 79 and stood behind Rodriguez at 153 while American Cristina Corpus skied to an 81 for a 158 and former leg winner Thai Amolkan Phalajivin fell out of the race with an awful 84 for a 160.(pr)

IOC and INTERPOL support national efforts to combat competition manipulation in Norway

IOC and INTERPOL support national efforts to combat competition manipulation in Norway
*Supporting the clean athletes part of the implementation of Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms

As part of increased collaboration between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and INTERPOL to protect the integrity of sport through education and awareness programmes, as outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020, the first Partnership Development Meeting (PDM) was held today in Oslo, Norway.

Norway was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions. Today’s meeting enabled the IOC and INTERPOL to test, through scenarios, the country’s readiness to confront competition manipulation within its borders. Participants, who included high-level representatives from the government, law enforcement agencies, sports betting authorities and sports, responded to allegations of competition manipulation and built a comprehensive and unified approach to combatting them. PDMs are currently being developed by the IOC and INTERPOL for other countries around the world according to their own unique circumstances.

“This meeting is another tangible result from Olympic Agenda 2020, which is all about protecting the clean athletes from doping, match-fixing, the manipulation of competitions and related corruption,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Together, the IOC and INTERPOL are developing robust education and awareness programmes that are already having a positive impact in the fight to protect the integrity of sport. INTERPOL’s know-how and educational expertise is crucial in this regard.”

INTERPOL Secretary General Jürgen Stock said: “Our common action with the International Olympic Committee to protect the integrity of sport through PDMs, training and capacity building helps strengthen confidence in fair play by the public and all those who have a stake in keeping sports clean and safe.”

Recognising the commitment by Norwegian authorities to sport’s integrity, Mr Stock added: “A coordinated prevention strategy to keep sports clean is necessary, and must involve stakeholders on national, regional and international levels.”

The meeting included representatives from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, the Norwegian Olympic Committee (NOC), the Football Association of Norway, the Norwegian National Lottery, the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (ØKOKRIM), National Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) Norway (Organised Crime section), INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau (NCB) Oslo, the National Police Directorate Norway, the IOC and INTERPOL.

Norwegian Minister for Culture and Sport Thorhild Widvey said: “An efficient fight against manipulation of sports competitions requires combined efforts from sport, betting operators, betting regulators and other public authorities, including the police. By strengthening national coordination and international cooperation in this field, we will be better prepared to tackle the challenges facing sport.”

As part of Olympic Agenda 2020, the IOC’s strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, a USD 20 million fund is being leveraged to protect the clean athletes. USD 10 million has been earmarked to prevent match-fixing, manipulation and related corruption; the other USD 10 million is being used to support projects offering a new scientific approach to anti-doping.

Pâquerette Girard Zappelli, the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, said: “The IOC recognises its responsibility to support the Olympic Movement, and particularly National Olympic Committees, in recognising, resisting and reporting breaches of sport’s integrity. In order to build a firewall around sport, to protect clean athletes and clean competitions, we need partners who can help us strengthen that firewall. We cannot fight this alone.”

“Our collaboration with INTERPOL enables us to develop tailored solutions for each national situation. Together we address the various complex, multi-jurisdictional integrity risks that sport is confronted with today,” she continued. “Through PDMs and other training courses, we are strengthening good governance and investigative capacity to bring to justice those who attempt to destroy the soul of sport.”

The IOC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with INTERPOL in January 2014. Since then, the two organisations have widened the scope of previous activities and drafted a strategy for concrete action over the 2015-2017 period. The IOC and INTERPOL will continue to provide Partnership Development Meetings tailored to the unique circumstances of governments, law enforcement agencies and betting operators around the world. The two organisations are working together to deliver workshops with National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and an annual seminar with International Federations (IFs) on the risk of match-fixing, manipulation of competitions and related corruption. An e-learning platform targeting all the participants at the Olympic Games – athletes, their entourage as well as NOC and IF officials – is also being developed.(pr)

Davao’s Ikeda takes control with 71 as Cyna wavers


Dabawenya Chihiro Ikeda cashed in on calm conditions to card a one-under 71 then pounced on Cyna Rodriguez’s shaky finish to open a two-stroke lead over Sarah Ababa and Korean amateur Hwang Min Jeong at the start of the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship at Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Cavite yesterday.
Ikeda, a former amateur hotshot still in search of a breakthrough win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour, actually blew a two-under card after eight holes with back-to-back bogeys linking both nines. But the former SEA Games gold medalist birdied the par-3 16th to turn in the lone under-par round and upstage Rodriguez, who hobbled with a 76, in the featured threesome.
Rodriguez, seeking a follow-up to her six-shot romp at ICTSI Riviera last month, matched Ikeda’s birdie on the par-5 No. 4 but fell back with bogeys on Nos. 6 and 7. She birdied No. 8 but dropped another stroke on the ninth and reeled back with two more bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12.
Recovering her form, the reigning two-time Order of Merit champion birdied the par-5 15th, only to flounder at the finish with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 for that four-over card in a tie with Thai ace Amolkan Phalajivin and Korean Kim So Un.
Ababa, who finished second at Riviera, birdied Nos. 7 and 8 to put in a 35 at the turn in a flight ahead of Ikeda’s and momentarily seized the lead with another birdie on the par-3 11th. But she fumbled with three straight bogeys rom No. 15 and ended up with a 73, dropping to joint second with Hwang, who also wavered in the tough finishing holes of Sherwood.
Hwang, joint fourth with absentee Jayvie Agojo at Riviera, put herself back into contention after a 37 with birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 but bogeyed the next two.
Apple Fudolin fought back with a 36 at the back to card a 74 for solo fourth while Anya Tanpinco bogeyed No. 14 and dropped two strokes on the 18th for a 75.
Phalajivin, back in the local circuit after skipping the Riviera leg, rammed in a birdie to open her campaign but failed to come up with another the rest of the way, missing a couple of chances from close range. Worse, she stumbled with three bogeys and made a double-bogey on the par-4 No. 5 to drop to joint sixth with Rodriguez.
Kim, eighth placer at Riviera, matched Phalajivin’s opening hole birdie and like the Thai ace, never got the chance to drill in another one while fumbling with five bogeys.
American Cristina Corpus stayed in the mix with a gutsy 37 at the front but lost her touch with a fat closing 40, slipping to ninth with a 77, a stroke ahead of Korean amateur Koh Eu Na an local amateur Felicia Medalla.(pr)

Proposed University of Mindanao track and field oval looks awesome!

Photo courtesy of UM president Willie Torres.
Photo courtesy of UM president Willie Torres.

I could not help but get to excited when University of Mindanao president Willie Torres posted this perspective of the UM Track and Field Oval.

It will be at their Matina Campus in Davao City and the project starts in 2017!

This looks awesome!

UM, my late father’s alma mater (College of Law) and my loving aunt’s too (Bachelor of Arts), has been producing top caliber athletes for many years and with this new facility, it will be producing more!

I am not surprised to see this coming because Mr.WT (shortcut for Willie Torres) is just a die-hard sportsman.

Thai aces re-join LPGT Sherwood tilt


Former leg winner Amolkan Phalajivin and fellow Thais Hathaikarn Wongwaikijphaisal and Tiranan Yoopan have confirmed participation in the ICTSI Sherwood Ladies Championship, boosting the cast in the P500,000 event unfolding on June 16 at Sherwood Hills Golf Club in Trece Martirez, Cavite.
Cyna Rodriguez remains the hot favorite in the 54-hole tournament after dominating the last ICTSI Ladies Philippine Golf Tour stage at Riviera where she beat Sarah Ababa by six to snap a long title spell for the reigning back-to-back Order of Merit champion.

But Phalajivin, who humbled Rodriguez to nail her first LPGT victory at Splendido last year, Wongwaikijphaisal and Yoopan hope to provide a tougher challenge for the ace Filipina shotmaker, guaranteeing a spirited battle for the top P100,000 purse in the event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

Wongwaikijphaisal finished tied for 11th while Yoopan ended up 13th at ICTSI Wack Wack Ladies Invitational ruled by top amateur Princess Superal in a playoff win over Rodriguez.

But the three Thais are expected to crowd Rodriguez and the rest of the local bets at Sherwood as they try to match compatriot Wichanee Meechai’s record 15-shot romp over another Thai Walailak Satarak at ICTSI Splendido last April.

Ababa, who led in the first round at Riviera but cracked under pressure in the last two days, also hopes to toughen up and fuel her own drive for a breakthrough in the country’s first ladies pro circuit sponsored by ICTSI.

Jayvie Agojo, a former leg winner, likewise tries to snap a long slump together with former SEA Games gold medalist Chihiro Ikeda, who also hopes to put it all together and finally nail the elusive championship that has eluded her the past three years.

Korean Hwang Min Jeong, who tied Agojo at fourth at Riviera, heads the amateurs seeking to duplicate Superal’s Wack Wack feat, the others being compatriot Koh Eu Na and local bets Marvi Monsalve, Diana Araneta and Felicia Medalla.

Others seeing action are Cristina Corpus of the US, England’s Sarah Henderson and Koreans Kim So Un and Oh Yeji along with local talents Apple Fudolin, Lovelyn Guioguio, Lucy Landicho, Barsy Leonen, Eva Miñoza, Majorie Pulumbarit, Jan Punzalan, Tracy Que and Anya Tanpinco.(pr)

City of Edmonton’s hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup a `mistake’. Really?

EDMONTON — City of Edmonton’s hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup a `mistake’. Really?

I don’t know what was Globe and Mail sports columnist Cathal Kelly thinking when he wrote about the City of Edmonton as some kind of unfit to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.

He said yesterday:
“On Saturday, they’ll open the next one in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.
The arena is not famous, or suited to soccer, or attractive. Scratch that. It’s actively ugly. The field is circled by a track – the perfect bush-league touch that says “high school.”

You come to our beloved city and write about this? I find this very, very rude.

Alright, you could be telling the truth and in a way sending a message to our soccer officials and city leaders like Mayor Don Iveson that this is not the best way to host a FIFA event.

But hey! Wouldn’t you be asking the FIFA officials who approved the hosting of the event in Edmonton? They will have something to say, important, for sure, in the first place why they are kicking off the event here.

I know you are expressing your opinion but come on! Can’t you see? FIFA and the City of Edmonton leaders are just happy to bring the beautiful game here in the western part of Canada!

My point is, football wherever it is played, either in war-torn areas or peaceful countries like Canada, it is a beautiful game and you just don’t spoil it by telling Globe and Mail readers that kicking off the event in Edmonton is a “mistake”.


City of Edmonton’s information of the event:

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™

June 6-July 5, 2015

Edmonton is proud to be an official host city of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM. Join us as we welcome the world to this international event. Edmonton will host 11 matches on 8 nights at Commonwealth Stadium.

Official Website

For more information about the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM, visit:



Get your tickets now!

Tickets start at just $20.15! Get yours at Ticketmaster online or at the Commonwealth Stadium Box Office at Gate #9, open non-match days from 12-8pm daily, with extended hours and locations on match days.

Tickets to Edmonton matches are now available at Tix on the Square in person only. See their Location & Hours of Operation. They are not a Will Call pick-up location.

Match tickets include free bus, LRT and Park & Ride

This includes service to and from Commonwealth Stadium for two hours before the game, during the game, and two hours after the game ends. Transit services will be increased to accommodate increased ridership on match days. Full details attakeETS.com/FIFA.

Opening Matches on June 6

Tickets for June 6 include the Opening Ceremony and 2 matches, Canada v China at 4pm and New Zealand v Netherlands at 7pm. The ceremonies start at 3:40pm, so make sure you’re in your seats to see Grammy Award winning artist Sarah McLachlan and Juno Award winning duo Tegan and Sara. There are many events around the city on June 6, so please give yourself plenty of time to travel.

For more info on what to expect at your match day experience, see theSpectator Information.

Join the Team Canada Fan March on June 6

To celebrate the opening match in Edmonton, Team Canada fans will be marching to Commonwealth Stadium! Led by multiple Olympic medalist in alpine skiing, Senator Nancy Greene-Raine, marchers will be wearing red and white and cheering wildly as the signed big jersey is carried up to the gates!

Meet on the east side of Borden Park (73 St & north of 112 Ave), and look for the City of Edmonton soccer tent to collect your Canada items. March will leave at 2:30pm and head to the stadium.

Opening ceremonies start at 3:40pm prior to the Team Canada v China match at 4pm.

Note: Fan March is free but does not include a match ticket.

Show us Your Soccer Smarts & Win!

We’ve partnered with Edmonton Tourism to give away 60 tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup CanadaTM matches! Show us Your Soccer Smarts in the 15 Days to 2015 Kickoff contest! For full contest rules and to enter, visit exploreedmonton.com/15DaysToKickoff

Watch away matches on a huge outdoor screen

We are hosting free viewing parties for select FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM games. Enjoy additional soccer-themed fun, including skills demonstrations, video games, and face painters. Food trucks will be on-site. Bring your own chairs. Area opens 1 hour prior to the first match.

Dates and Times:
Monday, June 15 Teams Thailand vs Germany at 2pm & Canada vs Netherlands at 5:30pm
Sunday, June 21 Round of 16 at 2pm & 5:30pm
Friday, June 26 Quarter-finals at 2pm & 5:30pm
Tuesday, June 30 Semi-final at 5pm
Sunday, July 5 Final at 5pm

Location: Centennial Plaza (behind the Stanley A. Milner Library downtown)

Community Events

Many local hotels, bars and community groups are planning events too. Bring the family to a BBQ or try a Golden Goal cocktail. See details on additional community activities at exploreedmonton.com/FIFA

Host City YEG Soccer Showdown

The rematch took place Tuesday, May 26, and the newest team, Corporate Edmonton YEG-beaters took home the trophy as the 2015 champions! Thanks to everyone who participated and came to cheer on our players.

Watch how the friendly competition in July 2014 played out between the MLA Dream Team, City Hall Slickers, Edmonton Economic Development Igniters and Chamber of Commerce Challengers.