Buoyed by her respectable showing in her first overseas foray, Florence Bisera bristles with confidence as she prepares for the ICTSI The Country Club Match Play Invitational beginning Tuesday at the TCC course in Laguna.
Despite maintaining a reserved attitude like the rest of the 16-player field, approaching the demanding TCC course requires a balance of skills, including a strong long game, precise iron play, putting prowess, and mental toughness. But the rising Davaoeña star remains optimistic about her chances of clinching victory in the P1.5 million championship.
“I’ve never played TCC but I feel good about my chances,” said Bisera, who posted a tied for 17th finish in the recent Party Golfers Ladies Open of the LPGA of Taiwan Tour, a Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. co-sanctioned event.
Bisera put herself in early contention in the 54-hole TLPGA championship but failed to sustain her charge although she never wavered and finished with 72-71-72 rounds.
But shifting from stroke play to head-to-head format will demand adjustments from Bisera, who scored a Ladies Philippine Golf Tour breakthrough in the South Pacific Classic last September, beating no less than three-leg winner Daniella Uy by three at home, and her competitors.
They include Harmie Constantino, who is gunning for a repeat win after rallying and upending top amateur Rianne Malixi in sudden death in the inaugural staging of the event at tight Villamor Golf Club last year, Chihiro Ikeda, Sarah Ababa, Pamela Mariano, Gretchen Villacencio, Apple Fudolin, Rev Alcantara, Kristine Fleetwood, Lovelynn Guioguio, Eva Miñoza, Lucy Landicho and Mikha Fortuna.
Spicing up the cast are young Korean Seoyun Kim and local amateurs Laurea Duque and Mafy Singson, who bested the pros to rule the Valley leg, also by three over Uy, last June.
Also bracing for a fierce battle in the four-day tournament are the Top 32 in the PGT Order of Merit ranking, led by OOM topnotcher and two-leg winner Jhonnel Ababa, four-time OOM winner and defending champion Tony Lascuña, and leg winners Reymon Jaraula, Rupert Zaragosa and Ira Alido and reigning back-to-back TCC Invitational champion Guido van der Valk.