A fired-up Chanelle Avaricio gears up for another crack at a Ladies Philippine Golf Tour crown after scoring back-to-back wins at Hallow Ridge and Caliraya, setting out out as the top draw in the ICTSI Mount Malarayat Challenge which reels off May 11 in Lipa City.
The former Alabama U standout, who nailed a breakthrough win at Riviera-Couples last year then topped the two Laguna stops of the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized circuit last month, used the long break to further firm up in anticipation of a fierce challenge from the likes of former leg winners Chihiro Ikeda and Sunshine Baraquiel, among others.
“I need to practice on the things that I need to improve on, especially my driving,” said Avaricio after fending off Ikeda to hack out a one-stroke victory in the ICTSI Caliraya Springs Championship.
“I have to work on my short and irons,” added Avaricio, who upended multi-titled Princess Superal in sudden death at Hallow Ridge.
The rest of the compact field have also toughened up for the 54-hole tournament serving as the fourth leg of this year’s full-calendared LPGT after a limited number of events due to pandemic the past two years, guaranteeing another tight finish that has marked the first three title hunts this season.
Amateur sensation Rianne Malixi edged Superal by one to rule the kickoff leg at Luisita last March.
But the duo won’t be around to spice up the title chase this week with Malixi priming up for next week’s SEA Games in Hanoi and Superal still campaigning in Thailand after rallying to fourth place in last week’s Thailand Mixed 2022 in Rayong.
Former Junior World champion Daniella Uy, who also nailed her first victory at Riviera-Langer last year, is also not on the list as she vies in the Mountain Ranch Championship of the Women’s All Pro Tour, the farm league of the LPGA Tour, in Arizona beginning Tuesday.
But Sarah Ababa, Pamela Mariano, Eva Miñoza, Lovelynn Guioguio, Lucy Landicho, Sheryl Villacensio, Gretchen Villacencio, Kristine Fleetwood and Apple Fudolin are ready to provide the challenge on a long, wind-raked course expected to bring out the best and the worst from the field.