Rising stars Arevalo, Go women’s stroke play favorites
Abby Arevalo returns to the very site of one of her biggest triumphs as she firms up the women’s cast in the National Stroke Play Championship that gets off the ground on Tuesday at Riviera’s demanding Langer layout in Silang, Cavite.
Arevalo birdied the last hole to edge Pauline del Rosario by one and snatch the Riviera crown of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour in 2017, joining an elite roster of amateurs who have won in the country’s premier ladies professional circuit.
She went on to post three more wins while with San Jose State U in the United States and teamed up with individual gold medalist Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go in giving the Philippines the team gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at Luisita last month.
That should make her one of the players to watch in the 72-hole tournament kicking off the PLDT Amateur Golf Tour season where she and Go are tipped to go head-to-head for the title.But out to crowd the talented duo are reigning WExpress RVF Cup and MVPSF Visayas regional champion Junia Gabasa, Philippine Junior Amateur, Phl Amateur Open Match Play, Northern Luzon Regional titlist Rianne Malixi and Cangolf Open winner Nicole Abelar.
Like Arevalo, Korean Kim Seo-yun also hopes to recall the form that netted her the Riviera MVPSF Amateur crown last November, guaranteeing a spirited battle for top honors in the event sponsored by the MVP Sports Foundation and backed by Cignal, Metro Pacific Investments and Summit Ridge as official hotel.
Also in the fold are Diana Araneta, Tomi Arejola, Laia Barro, Sophia Blanco, Sofia Chabon, Samantha Dizon, Laurea Duque, Bernice Ilas, Samantha Martirez and Eagle Ace Superal.
Others tipped to contend are Hong Kong’s Vivian Lee and Japanese Riko Nagai.
The battle for the men’s crown is also expected to go down-to-the-wire with Japanese Gen Nagai bracing for another tight finish against the country’s leading players, headed by Aidric Chan, Carl Corpus and Sean Ramos, members of the SEAG bronze medal team, along with Elee Bisera, Dan Cruz, Weiwei Gao, David Guangko, Josh Jorge, Gabby Macalaguim, Gab Manotoc, Don Petil and Peter Tyler Po.
Ryan Monsalve is also out to sustain his form after teaming up with Lanz Uy in last month’s National Doubles.