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Korean eyes big comeback at Midlands

TAGAYTAY CITY – South Korean Lee Jeong-Hwa sets out for a big return on the ICTSI Champion Tour she once dominated as she rejoins the title hunt in the $75,000 event, which gets going today at Tagaytay Midlands here.

The well-built Lee, also a former Philippine Ladies Open champion, bested a stellar international field and hacked out a pair of victories at Splendido and Manila Southwoods in the inaugural season of the ICTSI Champion Tour in 2016. She skipped the circuit last year but is back in the hunt, ready to reclaim her once revered spot in the Philippine leg of the Taiwan LPGA-sanctioned circuit.

She will be as much tested as the rest of the huge 104-player field right at the start of the 54-hole championship organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. at the challenging up-and-down Midlands layout as the 23-year-old power hitter from Busan drew rising Taiwan amateur star Hou Yu-Chiang and Thai Punpaka Phuntumabamrung in one of the featured flights at 7:50 a.m. on No. 1.

Hou bested a slew of pros to finish joint second in the first of two Champion Tour events at Southwoods last week, a rain-shortened tournament which Thai Ploychompoo Wirairungreung ruled on a bogey-free 10-under 134 card.

Wirairungreung is also all primed up for another crack at the crown as she tries to match Lee’s feat with the 23-year-old ace from Chiang Rai hoping to sustain her impressive game against Singapore’s Koh Sock-Hwee and Yen Yu-Hsin, another amateur from Taiwan, in the 7:10 a.m. group, also on the first hole.

Meanwhile, Princess Superal, Pauline del Rosario and Cyna Rodriguez go all out to stop the foreign domination and deliver the first Champion Tour title to the host country with Superal riding the momentum of her superb second round at Southwoods that netted her a joint runner-up effort.