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Caliraya draws top women bets

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF LPGA Harmie Constantino should find the road to the ICTSI championship rough and rocky.

CAVINTI, Laguna — A galaxy of stars in women’s golf congregate starting Tuesday when the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championships unfurls with five former Order of Merits winners and a bevy of rising stars taking part at the Caliraya Springs Golf Club.

Sarah Ababa and Harmie Constantino, who split the titles in the first two legs of this year’s Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in Davao, head the all-star cast.

However, threatening them are last year’s top player Daniella Uy, defending champion Pauline del Rosario and former US Girls Juniors champion Princess Superal.

The field is further enriched by the presence of multi-titled Chanelle Avaricio, last year’s South Pacific leg winner Florence Bisera and Match Play titlist Mikha Fortuna, setting the stage for an unpredictable week in the event where there are no clear favorites and every player a potential champion.

“I don’t have too many expectations. I’ll just play my game and do my best,” said Bisera. “After all, we’ve all practiced and are all ready for this tournament.”

With 2016 OOM champion Chihiro Ikeda and title-hungry Marvi Monsalve, Pamela Mariano, Apple Fudolin, Kristine Fleetwood, Lucy Landicho, Miya Legaspi and Korean Seoyun Kim, who finished runner-up to del Rosario last year, the P1 million championship sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc. (PGTI) is poised for a dramatic start and an even more spectacular conclusion on Thursday.

Adding depth to the competition are former national team standouts Mafy Singson and Lois Kaye Go, along with a cadre of promising talents like Laurea Duque, Velinda Castil, Annika Cedo and Rev Alcantara. Amateur Kayla Nocum is also ready to spring a surprise, guaranteeing a fiercely-contested 54-hole tournament supported by PGTI’s official apparel Kampfortis Golf.

All attention, however, is riveted on Del Rosario, who returns from a fine start on the Epson Tour, where she not only made the cut in her first three tournaments of the season but also secured a Top 10 finish in the IOA Golf Classic.

“I’m just trying to bring that confidence and momentum moving forward,” said Del Rosario, who aims to break into the Top 15 by season’s end to clinch an LPGA card.

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