Chanelle Avaricio faces stiff challenge in Caliraya Springs return
Chanelle Avaricio will face a stiff challenge from an elite field looking to knock the crown off her head.
Pauline del Rosario is back on a break from the Epson Tour, the farm league of the US Ladies Professional Golf Association. Chihiro Ikeda, Harmie Constantino and Daniella Uy are eager to bounce back from unsuccessful bids in recent tournaments.
If there’s anything comforting for Avaricio about the ICTSI Caliraya Springs tournament that kicks off on Tuesday, it’s the fact that she will be returning to the site of one of her three Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT) victories last year.
“Yes, there’s a bit of advantage because I have proven to myself that I can win on this course,” said Avaricio. “Winning is my biggest motivation and I’m looking forward to scoring a repeat this week.”
Avaricio fashioned out one-stroke victory over Ikeda in last year’s tournament and to make it a repeat, she knows exactly what to do.
“If my putting gets hot, I think I can put up a good score,” Avaricio said.
Rianne Malixi is skipping the event to focus on her campaign in a top Japan junior tournament next week, but there is still an abundance of amateur talent ready to seize the title.
National team mainstays LK Go and Mafy Singson, along with Laurea Duque, are among those expected to contend.
Among the pros, there will be a lot of focus on Uy, who is going all-out to redeem herself from a final round meltdown in Iloilo, where she blew a six-stroke lead in the last 18 holes and fired a closing 81 to drop to joint fourth.
Ikeda, the reigning Order of Merit champion, is motivated to finish on top after placing sixth at Marapara and snatching runner-up honors in Iloilo. Constantino, who swept the last two legs of last year’s LPGT at Pradera Verde and at Villamor Match Play, is also due for a big finish after a run of disappointing finishes.
“I’m looking forward to competing against them but mainly I will just focus on my own game. I’ll do my best to play well,” said Avaricio.