Sharp Chihiro Ikeda seeks No. 2
Gaining the confidence that she can win again, Chihiro Ikeda sets out for a second consecutive victory starting on Tuesday when the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT) goes to Laurel in Batangas for the ICTSI Splendido Taal Challenge.
After snapping a drought that spanned close to three years, Ikeda returned to the winner’s circle last month at Mount Malarayat in nearby Lipa where she nipped Chanelle Avaricio by a shot. She has stayed doing her grind under swing guru Bong Lopez, looking to stay sharp for the rest of the season.
“That win removed all doubts that I can win again,” Ikeda, who plays out of Manila Southwoods, said. “But it will be tough winning back-to-back, considering the quality of the field at Splendido.”
Avaricio will be there as she shoots for a third title this season. Harmie Constantino is also entered together with Sunshine Baraquiel, the Highlands leg winner last year.
Korean Hwang Min Jeong nipped Princess Superal by one to win the last LPGT event at Splendido in 2019 and the layout will again provide the same difficult challenge to the field with the winds present at this time of year.
Avaricio won the Hallow Ridge and Caliraya stops and was the odds-on pick at Malarayat, only for Ikeda to hold it together for 54 holes and finish as the only player under-par.
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