October 31, 2021 | 3:28pm
MANILA, Philippines — Chanelle Avaricio seeks to finally hit the mark after two failed bids, headlining the cast in the ICTSI Aoki Classic at Eagle Ridge, which unfolds Wednesday at the sprawling Eagle Ridge and Country Club complex in Gen. Trias, Cavite.
More than shotmaking and putting, the desire to shine in the third restart of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour will serve as impetus for the touring ladies all itching to slug it out after being kept out of the fairways the last three months due to the spike of coronavirus cases in the NCR Plus.
Avaricio, for one, is so motivated to finally hit paydirt after getting foiled by Princess Superal at Sherwood Hills and Eagle Ridge-Norman last July before the organizing Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. suspended play for the second time.
But those setbacks are expected to strengthen not just the Alabama State U alumna’s game but the mental side as well as she steps up her drive for the elusive crown in the country’s premier ladies circuit put up by ICTSI.
Strategy and decision-making will indeed be the key points as the field tackles the challenging Aoki course kept in championship form all year-long with Avaricio facing a set of rivals also determined to hit it big in the 54-hole championship offering a total prize fund of P750,000.
That includes Harmie Constantino, who actually marked her pro debut with a two-shot victory over Superal at Aoki last March although the former national amateur champion slowed down in her next two outings, ending up third behind Superal and Avaricio at Sherwood and winding up fourth at Eagle Ridge-Norman.
But with Superal out of the picture to pursue her own campaign in Japan, Avaricio and Constantino look forward to forging a title clash this week with the likes of Chihiro Ikeda, Daniella Uy, Cyna Rodriguez, Sunshine Baraquiel and Marvi Monsalve also hopeful of coming out on top on Friday.
A host of others are also raring to spring a surprise, including Sarah Ababa, Lovelyn Guioguio, Apple Fudolin, Pamela Mariano, Eva Miñoza, Florence Bisera, Majorie Palumbarit and Sheryl Villacencio, in a title chase that could go down to the last shot or putt.
The PGTI, meanwhile, is enforcing strict safety measures to guarantee the health and safety of all those involved as per the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) guidelines the way it conducted its previous successful bubble tournaments.
The touring ladies will next test the tricky Highlands course in the ICTSI Tagaytay Highlands Challenge on Nov. 9-11 with Gretchen Villacencio joining the hunt after skipping the Eagle Ridge sortie for medical reasons.
Meantime, two more tournaments are being readied for the touring ladies on Nov. 23-26 and Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Riviera Golf and Country Club in SIlang, Cavite, which hosted the first restart of the circuit after an eight-month hiatus late last year.