Fiery duels up as LPGT, PGT unfold at Caliraya

Published April 18, 2022, 2:54 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

From winning on a course she has had some local knowledge of to an unfamiliar terrain at Caliraya, Chanelle Avaricio remains upbeat but has expressed guarded optimism on her back-to-back title drive on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, which resumes on Tuesday, April 19 with the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship in Cavinti, Laguna.

Chanelle Avaricio

The P750,000 LPGT event, set over 54 holes, is held simultaneously with the men’s tour with the young guns bracing for a spirited battle of power and mental toughness with the seasoned campaigners in the next four days of the P2 million championship.

Ira Alido, who nailed his first PGT victory at Riviera in 2020, Lloyd Go, Sean Ramos and Rupert Zaragosa are but four of a slew of young turks eager and ready to slug it out with the likes of Clyde Mondilla, Jay Bayron, Jhonnel Ababa and Tony Lascuña in what promises to be another down-to-the-wire finish after Miguel Tabuena nipped Mondilla on the second playoff hole to rule the PGT kickoff leg at Luisita in Tarlac last month.

Others tipped to contend are Jobim Carlos, Jerson Balasabas, Michael Bibat, Marvin Dumandan, Zanieboy Gialon, Reymon Jaraula, Joenard Rates and Dutch Guido Van der Valk with legends Frankie Miñoza and Robert Pactolerin spicing up the cast in the invitational championship put up by ICTSI.

The LPGT chase is also expected to be tight and fierce.

“I won’t expect anything because I’m not familiar with the course,” said Avaricio after besting multi-titled Princess Superal in sudden death to claim the ICTSI Hallow Ridge Challenge in San Pedro, Laguna two weeks ago.

It was Avaricio’s second LPGT win after scoring a breakthrough at Riviera-Couples in big fashion last November with the former Alabama State U standout annexing her latest feat on a course, which staged an LPGT event for the first time but which she calls home.

But heading to the Caliraya Springs Golf Club, also a first-time host of the pro circuit, Avaricio is staying positive while hoping to make the most of her practice stint at the well-maintained par-72 layout set amidst Lake Caliraya and a view of Mt. Banahaw on Monday.

“Like most of the players, it’s my first time to be playing in Caliraya. I have no idea how the course looks like but I’ll do my best and I have prepared the way I usually prepare for a tournament,” said Avaricio.

“I’m just focusing on my own game and I hope to see during practice what I can do for the week,” she added.

The rest of the compact 17-player field, including amateur Aily Kidwell, are likewise all geared-up for the 54-hole event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. while putting emphasis on their ability to adjust on the challenges offered by the Arnold Palmer-designed layout.

They include Harmie Constantino, who is out to check a skid after a remarkable pro debut last year where she won two tournaments on her way to clinching the the Order of Merit title, and fellow leg winners Sunshine Baraquiel and Daniella Uy with former champion Chihiro Ikeda also due for a big finish.

Completing the cast are Marvi Monsalve, Sarah Ababa, Florence Bisera, Kristine Fleetwood, Lovelyn Guioguio, Apple Fudolin, Lucy Landicho, Pamela Mariano, Eva Miñoza, Gretchen Villacencio and Shery Villasencio.