Filipina golfers face tough challenge in Taiwan


THE 16-player strong Philippine crew brace for a tough challenge in the Party Golfers Ladies Open set to fire off November 8 at the Lily Golf and Country Club in Guanxi Township in Taiwan.

The reason? Seven of the Top 10 in the Ladies Professional Golf Association of Taiwan (TLPGA) rankings are in the fold including a multi-titled bet from Thailand eager to shoot for a fourth leg victory.

Frontrunner Ya-Chun Chang, winner of the recent Da Da Digital Open, and PK Kongkraphan headline the crack international field in the NT$4 million championship marking the return of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour’s (LPGT) leading players to the TLPGA after a four-year absence due to pandemic.

But Pauline del Rosario, Daniella Uy, Chanelle Avaricio, Harmie Constantino, Florence Bisera and amateur Mafy Singson will be in for an uphill battle in the 54-hole event given the depth of the field that includes the big guns from Thailand LPGA, which like the LPGT, also holds co-sanctioned tournaments with the TLPGA.

Del Rosario, however, has previously won in the TLPGA, specifically in the TLPGA and Royal Open in 2017 when she mounted an impressive comeback from seven shots down in the final round and won by one.

Another thing going for the 25-year-old del Rosario is that she will be coming into the event brimming with confidence following a successful campaign in the LPGA Q-School Stage II that kept her in the hunt for a dream LPGA Tour card next year.

With three victories in the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized LPGT, Uy is also optimistic about her chances. She tied for fourth when the Filipinas last competed in the Party Golfers Ladies Open in 2019.

Avaricio is also coming into the event in good form following a series of stints in the Epson Tour and elsewhere while Constantino and Bisera are both ready to take up the challenge and Singson has demonstrated her ability to compete against the pros with a victory at Valley, where she also won in an amateur event recently, last June.

Still, focus will be on Chang and fellow local aces No. 4 Shih Cheng-Hsuan, No. 5 Juliana Hung, winner of the Jing Mao Open last July, No. 6 Babe Liu, No. 7 and former LPGT leg winner Ching Huang, No. 9 Li-Ning Wong and No. 10 Ho-Yu An.

Kongkraphan also looms as a marked player after the Thai veteran and a former LPGA Tour campaigner racked up three TLPGA victories in the season about to end, winning the WPO Ladies Open last May, the Friends of TLPGA Open last June and the Grin Cup Charity Open last August.

Meanwhile, completing the LPGT cast are Mikha Fortuna, Marvi Monsalve, Rev Alcantara, Sarah Ababa, Pamela Mariano and Chihiro Ikeda along with Koreans Seoyun Kim and Ju Young Yang and amateurs Laurea Duque and Lia Duque.

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