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)