Only one-third of Philippine golf’s “Golden Girls” has come back to the Asian Games but its morale is at full 100 percent.
At least that’s how top golf officials put it as the six-strong delegation was set to arrive Sunday in Hangzhou. The players, along with their coaches, are expected to hit the ground running with practice rounds scheduled in the next three days.
Competitions begin at West Lake International Golf Course in Xihu District in Hangzhou, with the country hoping to catch the glitter of its previous golden showing in the Asiad.
“The team’s morale is very high,” said National Golf Association of the Philippine secretary general Bones Floro.
Lois Kaye Go, the only remnant of the victorious women’s team in Indonesia four years ago, will suit up once again along with teenage amateur sensation Rianne Malixi.
With the Asian Games golf becoming pro-centered starting this edition, they will have their hands full against the field that is expected to be littered with professional golfers from all around the region.
“Probably most top professional players in the world are here in Asia,” Floro said.
Clyde Mondilla, the most successful local pro golfer we have, will banner the men’s team of fellow pro Ira Alido, and amateur stalwarts Aidric Chan and Carl Corpus.
They are joined by head coach Abe Rosal and assistant mentor Boyet Saragoza.
Four medals are at stake in golf competitions, namely men’s and women’s singles and team.
Last Asiad, the country bagged the gold in women’s individual via Yuka Saso — who has since chosen to play for Japan — and the women’s team through her, Bianca Pagdanganan and Go. Pagdanganan also took bronze in individual play.
Saso, now a major LPGA champion, reportedly decided to skip this Asian Games.