Fortuna forges semis duel vs Ikeda in ICTSI Match Play

Fortuna forges semis duel vs Ikeda in ICTSI Match Play
Mikha Fortuna
Pilipinas Golf

SANTA ROSA, Laguna – Mikha Fortuna surged closer to a dream pro breakthrough, dispatching Korean Seoyun Kim, 5&4, in tough conditions to barge into the semifinals of the ICTSI The Country Club Match Play Invitational at the TCC course here Wednesday.

The relentless wind added a challenging element to the match but Fortuna’s early display of prowess, marked by a precise drive on the first hole leading to a regulation par and a 1-up advantage, set the tone for her dominance.

A day after booting out top seed and defending champion Harmie Constantino, 5&3, Fortuna kept her composure throughout the match, exercising self-restraint to dominate and claim the victory that lined her up against Chihiro Ikeda in Thursday’s semifinals of the P1.5-million event put up by ICTSI.

The multi-titled Ikeda pounced on Pamela Mariano’s frontside struggles then held sway at the back to pound out a 2&1 decision in the upper half of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour draw following an 8&7 cruise over Eva Miñoza Tuesday.

While Fortuna moved within two wins to achieve a coveted result, amateur Laurea Duque carved out her own path to victory, edging Apple Fudolin on the last hole to annex a 2-up victory after shocking No. 2 Florence Bisera, 1-up, in the Round of 16.

Duque’s pursuit of golfing glory continues as she faces Gretchen Villacencio in their side of the semis face-off after the latter outlasted Sarah Ababa in a tense battle that went down to the 18th hole for a 1-up victory. Villacencio earlier toppled Christine Fleetwood, 2-up.

Despite her convincing triumph, Fortuna acknowledged the tests posed by the demanding conditions and Kim’s persistent threat.

“It’s kind of hard at the start, not getting what I was expecting so I stayed patient, took one shot at a time,” said Fortuna, who has had a couple of title cracks for a first LPGT win but fell short in the final round in both occasions. “It’s easy to get frustrated here. It’s match play and anything can happen.”

Against Ikeda in their 7:50 a.m. match, Fortuna said: “My game plan has been working, so I’ll just stick to it. But most importantly, I need to stay patient and see what happens.”

Ikeda, meanwhile, underlined the need to minimize her mistakes on the treacherous TCC course.

“I need to play steady and avoid errors. The course is challenging and I had a few missteps on some holes today,” said Ikeda in Pilipino. “Mahirap manalo, magaling din si Pam pero medyo off lang.”

The Duque-Villacencio clash at 7:42 a.m. also promises to be a duel of nerves with the duo seeking to replicate the poise they displayed in overcoming their quarterfinal opponents.

Duque, eyeing the chance to come the first amateur to win a match play championship, expects a grueling battle against Villacencio, hungry for redemption after a missed opportunity against Princess Superal in the Riviera Ladies Classic in 2018.

“No expectations but I’ll do my best to win,” said Villacencio. “Since Laurea is a steady player, I need to hit the fairways and greens tomorrow (today). There’s a lot of pressure but will try my best to play good.”

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with