Koreans Yang Juyong and Kim Hee Sun and Kan Bunnabodee, Onkanok Soisuwan and Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand brace for a fierce battle with the local aces in the Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship presented by Champion Infinity which unfolds Wednesday (Jan. 20) at Tagaytay Midlands.
Sun Ok Park and Soon Hak Jung are also joining Yang and Kim in the 54-hole tournament which also drew Aussie Prescila Keogh, Ping Carmichael of Hong Kong, Riko Nagai of Japan and siblings Norshahira, Norezrina and Noraishah Che Omar and Kellie Kan of Malaysia.
While the Koreas seek to re-claim the crown won by Jeong Lee Hwa in 2012 at Southwodos, the young Thais are out to extend their domination of the country’s premier ladies championship won by Supamas Sangchan in 2013-14 at Mt. Malarayat and Forest Hills and Pimnipa Panthong at Wack Wack last year.
But focus will be on the local bets as they try to end the foreigners’ domination of the 54-hole championship presented by Champion Infinity and organized and conducted by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
Former US Girls’ Junior champion Princess Superal banners the hosts’ bid in the 54-hole championship with the top The Country Club bet banking on her five-win roll, including the Hong Kong Ladies Amateur Open two weeks ago.
But she faces an uphill battle in her pursuit of a first Phl Ladies Open diadem with a slew of other talented local players in the fold, including TCC teammate and reigning Thailand Ladies Amateur champion Pauline del Rosario and newly crowned Philippine Amateur stroke play winner Harmie Constantino.
Others vying in the event, backed by Filinvest Alabang, Inc., Metro Pacific, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Taishan Insurance Brokers, Inc., MEC Networks Corp., Jewelmer, G&W Clubshares, inc., Vermogen and Tagaytay Highlands Ladies Chapter, are Claire Legaspi, Yuka Saso, Rowena Bjorldund, Sofia Chabon, Lois Kaye Go, Sam Martirez, Felicia Medalla Kayla Nocum, Aisha Nocum and Bernice Ilas.
With the Midlands layout kept in championship condition all year, the up-and-down par-72 layout is also expected to provide a true test of golf for the competing field, ensuring a spirited battle for top honors in the event won last by a local bet in 2011 through former SEA Games gold medalist Chihiro Ikeda.