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Del Rosario seeks title repeat

PAULINE del Rosario wants to make the most out of her long break from the Epson Tour by winning the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championships. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF LPGT

Fresh off a stint in the Epson Tour, Pauline del Rosario takes advantage of the break before the LPGA’s developmental league resumes on 26 April as she headlines the field in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship starting 9 April at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club in Cavinti, Laguna.

After finishing tied for 26th in the Atlantic Beach Classic in Florida a couple of weeks back, Del Rosario seizes the interval as a golden opportunity to reconnect with the local golf scene and rekindle rivalries in the P1 million championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.

“I’m very excited and happy to be back home during the four-week break from the (Epson) Tour. It feels nice to have made the cut in the first three tournaments of the season, not to mention my first-ever Top 10 finish,” said Del Rosario, referring to her joint 10th effort in the IOA Golf Classic last month.

Also on a break from the Epson Tour, Del Rosario scored a wire-to-wire triumph in last year’s edition of the 54-hole tournament sponsored by ICTSI, narrowly fending off Korean’s Seoyun Kim by a single stroke.

She anticipates a similarly close contest next week, with formidable competitors like Sarah Ababa and Harmie Constantino — winners of the first two LPGT legs in Davao — along with Lois Kaye Go, Mafy Singson, Chihiro Ikeda, Florence Bisera and Laurea Duque, promising to challenge her title defense.

“Doing my regular practice routines, nothing out of the ordinary. Just trying to bring that confidence and momentum moving forward,” added Del Rosario, also the first Filipina to win on the Taiwan Ladies PGA Tour during her rookie pro season in 2017.

Meanwhile, Ababa rallied to edge Singson by two in the Apo Golf Classic, while Constantino battled back from five strokes down to beat Ababa and Ikeda in the Rancho Palos Verdes Championship.

Go, on the other hand, is poised to rebound from her final round struggles at Palos Verdes, determined to convert lessons learned into success.

“I need to stay patient,” Go reflected on her experience in her pro debut, emphasizing the need to capitalize on opportunities rather than succumbing to frustration. She led in the final round but ended up tied at fourth.

Joining the title hunt in the tournament supported by PGTI official apparel Kampfortis Golf are Marvi Monsalve, Miya Legaspi, Gretchen Villacencio, Annika Cedo, Rev Alcantara, Apple Fudolin, Kristine Fleetwood, Pamela Mariano and Velinda Castil.

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