Stalwarts collide as ICTSI Luisita International tees off

Stalwarts collide as ICTSI Luisita International tees off
Chonlada Chayanun (left) and Princess Superal
Pilipinas Golf

TARLAC – The ICTSI Luisita Ladies International 2024 blasts off Tuesday, April 23, in an electrifying showdown of precision and putting prowess among stalwarts from the LPGA of Taiwan (TLPGA), formidable contenders from the Thai LPGA, and homegrown talents at the Luisita Golf and Country Club here.

Strategic decision-making will play a pivotal role in navigating the challenges of the $100,000 championship, set against the backdrop of the demanding 6,362-yard Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course renowned for its risk-and-reward, well-kept layout.

For PK Kongkraphan, this tournament marks a chance to fulfill an unfinished business after falling short in last year’s Anvaya Cove Ladies International, also a TLPGA-Ladies Philippine Golf Tour co-sanctioned event in Morong, Bataan.

Meanwhile, Princess Superal is determined to bounce back from a final round slip at Caliraya Springs, eager to witness the fruits of her labor in refining her driving technique even as she aims to elevate her performance in time for the resumption of her campaign on the Japan Step Up Tour.

Ahead of this event, sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc., Superal’s preparations have been nothing short of rigorous.

The former US Girls’ Junior titlist hopes to capitalize on her local knowledge of the layout as she faces a tough first round draw, pitting skills with Yu-Ju Chen of Taiwan and Thai Chonlada Chayanun at 8 a.m. on No. 1.

“We’re more familiar with Luisita, so we’ll see how it goes,” said Superal, whose last triumph dates back to 2022 in the Asia Pacific Cup in Indonesia where she triumphed over several major champions on the LPGA Tour. “Nonetheless, we'll give it our best shot.”

Armed with a stellar record, including victories in the Hangzhou Asian Games last year and 23 professional titles to her name, the 32-year-old Kongkraphan enters the competition with confidence.

Despite the unfamiliarity of the course, Kongkraphan is optimistic, drawing parallels to her recent experience in Thailand.

Opting to skip yesterday’s pro-am tournament to fine-tune her skills, she remains undeterred by the scorching weather, expressing readiness to tackle the course’s challenges.

“This is a new course for me, but the conditions are similar back home. So I think, I can have a good score here,” said Kongkraphan, who drew compatriot Alisara Wedchakama and Korean Minyeong Kim at 8:55 a.m. on No. 10. “Luisita is a little bit shorter, so there’s a big chance to playing well this week.”

While she leads the charge, a stellar lineup of TLPGA and Thai players, including Chen, Jo Hua Hung and former LPGT leg winners Wannasiri Sirisampant and Chayanun, are poised to make their mark.

Focus will also be on new faces Sarina Schmidt of Germany, India’s Hitaashee Bakshi and Sneha Singh, while Koreans Seoyun Kim, Nam Eunhua and Kim are likewise out to make an early impact for the needed confidence and momentum.

But the local talents are all primed for battle, led by Harmie Constantino, who is coming off back-to-back triumphs at Rancho Palos Verdes and Caliraya Springs. She also reigned here last year, edging Daniella Uy in sudden death to clinch the LPGT Luisita Championship.

Uy, the reigning LPGT Order of Merit winner, seeks to rebound from a disappointing performance at Caliraya Springs, along with Chanelle Avaricio, Mikha Fortuna, Mafy Singson, Florence Bisera, Sarah Ababa and Chihiro Ikeda.

“I’ll try my best and just have fun,” said Uy.

Constantino kicks off her drive at 9 a.m. on No. 1 against Thai Poomkaly Kanyawat and Chen Chih-Min of Taiwan, while Uy clashes with Malaysia’s Aretha Pan and Khangkhun Samaporn at 8:20 a.m., also on the first hole.

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