Chanelle Avaricio, bouncy coming off a near-improbable title run in Bacolod, hopes to cash in on her fine form and good breaks as she shoots for a sweep of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour’s Visayan swing in the ICTSI Iloilo Golf Challenge starting Wednesday at the Iloilo Golf and Country Club.
Avaricio turned a losing stand into a winning act as she rallied from eight strokes down in the final round to nip Sarah Ababa by one in last week’s Negros Occidental Golf Classic, putting her on track for another prolific season after racking up three victories last year.
But the Alabama State U product is looking beyond campaigning on the country’s premier circuit as she is set to play in the Pattaya Ladies Open in Thailand, along with the other Filipina players, next week and in the US to sharpen her game and gain more experience in pursuit of more golfing honors.
“I’ll play just a couple of tournaments here and head to the Thai LPGA where I have some events coming,” said Avaricio. “I will then fly to the US in April to play some tournaments.”
The comely shotmaker embarked on a US mission after ruling the Hallow Ridge, Caliraya Springs and Pradera Verde legs last year to toughen up and saw action in three Thai LPGA events this year where she posted tied for 43rd (NDSF Ladies Classic) and 50th (BGC Championship) finishes and missed the cut in the Thai LPGA Classic.
She rallied for joint 16th in last month’s Anvaya Cove International and was heading to another fruitless campaign in Bacolod after trailing Ababa by eight in the final round.
But the two-day leader faltered with a 79 and Avaricio gutted out an even-par 70 card to steal the win.
The same kind of finish looms in this week’s battle with Ababa seeking redemption and the likes of Pamela Mariano, Daniella Uy, Chihiro Ikeda, Harmie Constantino, Sunshine Baraquiel and Marvi Monsalve all going all-out to spark their respective title bids in the 54-hole tournament put up by ICTSI.
Three of the country’s leading amateurs are also keen on crowding their fancied rivals for top honors in the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.-organized event, including Rianne Malixi, who swept her three LPGT stints last year but who could not seem to get her game going at Marapara although she battled back and tied for third with Mariano.
Laurea Duque is also all primed for a big rebound after a tied for eighth finish last week, while Mafy Singson, who upstaged the pros at Splendido Taal last year, is ready and eager to make up for her mediocre joint 12th effort at Marapara.
Others in the roster are former three-time Order of Merit winner Cyna Rodriguez, Rev Alcantara, Florence Bisera, Kristine Fleetwood, Apple Fudolin, Lovelynn Guioguio, Lesley Icoy, Majorie Pulumbarit, Eva Miñoza, Gretchen Villacencio and Sheryl Villacencio.