Mafy Singson, who with Laurea Duque stirred up play at the Couples course last week, looks not only to add the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship crown to her growing list of low amateur trophies, but also nail the overall crown when the event is fired off tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 1) in Silang, Cavite.
The rising Davaoeña star has crowded the pros for the top podium finish in the last three Ladies Philippine Golf Tour events held in bubble setup but has been unsuccessful with shaky stretch-run performances. She placed second at Eagle Ridge-Aoki, ended up fifth at Highlands and tied for fourth at Riviera-Couples.
But the pro crown looks so enticing not just for her but for the rest of the amateurs, including Eagle Ace Superal and Arnie Taguines, although they will not only be facing an equally fired-up pro cast but a Langer layout kept in championship condition to test not only their shotmaking skills and putting but also their mental toughness.
“We’re still in the bubble, so I can’t go out to practice. But I did some workouts and stretching and got enough rest,” said Singson, bracing for a grueling three-day battle of wits and endurance at one of the country’s toughest courses.
Duque, the low amateur at Aoki last March, also put herself in strong contention at Couples but reeled back with two backside bogeys. She also blew the lead in the battle for low amateur honors on a closing double-bogey and ended up sixth, enabling Singson to claim the diadem again.
Duque, however, won’t be around this week to honor a previous commitment, making Singson a solid favorite to reign again in the ranks and a top contender for the overall championship.
The amateurs have been providing a refreshing challenge to the touring ladies in the pandemic-hit season while sharpening their skills and gaining more experience as they build up for various international competitions next season.
The compact pro field is also all primed up for another tough grind with Chanelle Avaricio seeking to complete a sweep of the Riviera titles after scoring a breakthrough at Couples in big fashion and the likes of Harmie Constantino, Chihiro Ikeda and Sunshine Baraquiel raring to fuel their respective title drive with strong starts.
Marvi Monsalve, Daniella Uy, Florence Bisera and Korean Jane Jeong, on the other hand, also set out to join Avaricio as first-time winner in the ICTSI-sponsored circuit that has kept the touring ladies busy coming into the holidays with the last tournament, the ICTSI Midlands Classic, slated on Dec. 14-16 back in Tagaytay.