Focus on Constantino, Singson at Riviera Ladies Championship


HARMIE CONSTANTINO tests Mafy Singson’s mettle anew in what looms to be a fierce duel of top contenders as Chanelle Avaricio sets out for a stab at a second-straight crown in the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Riviera Ladies Championship which gets under way Wednesday in Silang, Cavite.

Constantino, who has marked her maiden pro campaign with two victories, both at Eagle Ridge-Aoki and including one over Singson last month, faces the top amateur in the 11:40 a.m. flight, bracing for a challenging day not just against the rising star but also the Langer course.

Singson has figured in the title race in the last three tournaments but came up short on each occasion, setbacks many believe have only toughened up the 18-year-old Davaoeña, who guns for another crack at the overall championship on top of her three straight low amateur honors.

Joining them is the come-backing Gretchen Villacencio.

Avaricio, on the other hand, exudes confidence as she launches her drive for another Ladies Philippine Golf Tour plum against Apple Fudolin and amateur Anna Fernandez at 12 noon with forecast of cloudy skies with chances of rain in the afternoon.

Coming off a rousing seven-stroke romp over Chihiro Ikeda and Constantino at the nearby Couples course last week that snapped a two-year search for a title in the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit, the former Alabama State U top player has the momentum and motivation going for her in the 54-hole championship.

But it will not only be about the swing shift as the par-71 layout remains a risk-reward course set up to punish even the slightest of mistakes.

That gives the rest of the 19-player cast equal chances with Sunshine Baraquiel, who recently scored a breakthrough at Tagaytay Highlands in windy play, hoping to emerge on top under the same conditions. She starts at 11:30 a.m. in the company of Majorie Pulumbarit and Daniella Uy, both chasing their first LPGT crown.

Ikeda, whose joint runner-up finishes in the last two tournaments have sparked hopes for the Fil-Japanese, who will tee off with Marvi Monsalve and Sheryl Villasencio at 11:20 a.m.

Arnie Taguines, meanwhile, seeks to snap a string of mediocre finishes as she shoots for a follow-up to her low amateur feat at Eagle Ridge-Norman last July. She kicks off her bid at 11:10 a.m. with Pamela Mariano with Korean rookie pro Jane Jeong and former leg winner Sarah Ababa clashing at 11 a.m. and Florence Bisera, Lovelyn Guioguio and amateur Eagle Ace Superal tangling at 11:50 a.m.

Meanwhile, the touring ladies take a break next week and will head back to Tagaytay City for the season-ending event, the ICTSI Midlands Classic, set December 14 to 16, which Ikeda ruled via playoff over Pauline del Rosario in 2019.

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