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Pauline del Rosario primes up for the P1 million ICTSI Luisita Ladies Challenge at the challenging Tarlac layout next week, hoping to put it all together and nail a maiden championship in a young pro career.
Del Rosario came up short by two strokes in her pro debut last month, failing to overcome a second round 78 and losing to Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul at the ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido Taal Golf Club.
She actually rebounded with a final round 68 but the Thai closed out with a 69 to preserve the victory in the kickoff leg of this year’s 10-leg circuit sponsored by ICTSI and organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.
This time, the former amateur hotshot feels she’s ready to get the job done.
“I’ve improved a lot with my distance and accuracy over the past weeks and I think I can be a contender again,” said Del Rosario, who got a feel of the tight course in yesterday’s first practice round.
But she expects the task to be daunting with a talent-laden cast from a compact field all raring to fuel their respective bids for the top P250,000 purse in the 54-hole championship backed by Custom Clubmakers, BDO, Meralco, Sharp, KZG, PLDT, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and K&G Golf.
“I know the field will be tough again but I’m confident of my chances,” added the former Thailand Ladies Amateur champion, who also struggled to finish tied for 15th in the second leg at Mt. Malarayat.
While Muangkhumsakul won’t be around, five other Thais are entered in the event, including Chattara Chatwararat, Jaruporn Palakawongnaayuttawa, Numa Gulyanamitta and siblings Nemittra and Nimmitta Juntanaket along with Indonesians Dea Mahendra and Jessica Lydia and Fil-Am and former Luisita champion Cristina Corpus.
Former leg winner Chihiro Ikeda, meanwhile, heads the local challenge along with Sarah Ababa, Anya Tanpinco, Apple Fudolin, Jan Punzalan, Lovelyn Guioguio, Majorie Pulumbarit and Sheryl Villasencio.
Meanwhile, the third leg of the circuit will be held May 31-June 2 at the Orchard with Ikeda as the defending champion while the tricky Baguio Country Club will host the fourth stop on June 28-30.