MORE than the crown are the bragging rights that will be on the line when the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT) stages the inaugural International Container Terminal Services Inc. Villamor Philippine Masters from May 24 to 26 at the Villamor Golf Club in Pasay City.
Harmie Constantino and Daniella Uy headline the compact field in the three-day duel featuring a competition on ball control and putting in pursuit of the championship in an esteemed event that used to serve as one of the men’s tour versions of four major championships.
It will be held side-by-side with the 72-hole men’s championship featuring the cream of the country’s pro crop.
Constantino and Uy figured in a sudden death in the last LPGT stop at Luisita with the former edging the latter to cap her fightback from four shots down in regulation and nail her fifth victory in a three-year pro career.
“Hopefully, I’ll play another good round at Villamor,” Constantino said.
But while she is ready for another title crack on a course she calls home, Uy and the rest of the 21-player cast are going all-out to stop the former national champion from reigning again at the quaint military layout kept in championship form year-round.
Constantino also ruled the first ICTSI Villamor Match Play Invitational last year, also via playoff over top amateur Rianne Malixi, making her the marked player in the upcoming P1 million event serving as fifth leg of this year’s LPGT organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.
Marvi Monsalve, for one, is back in the hunt, upbeat of her chances for a breakthrough following a stint in the Thailand Ladies Professional Golfers Association Tour while Sarah Ababa is likewise pleased of her ever-improving game with top five finishes in the first four tournaments, including a runner-up finish in Bacolod last March and a third place effort at Caliraya Springs.
Meanwhile, a slew of others are keen on bouncing back, including Uy, reigning Order of Merit winner Chihiro Ikeda, Pamela Mariano and Korean Kim Seoyun, while the likes of Gretchen Villacencio, Kristine Fleetwood, Florence Bisera, Lovelynn Guioguio, Lucy Landicho, Eva Minoza, Apple Fudolin, Rev Alcantara, Majorie Pulumbarit, Monica Mandario and Korean Yan Juyoung are all ready for a big surprise at the long, tight Villamor layout.
Spicing up the title chase are national team mainstay Mafy Singson and fellow amateur Nam Eunhua and Lee Jiwon of Korea.