Fierce competition seen as ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship tees off

HARMIE Constantino will once again test the mettle of Mafy Singson as the two along with a host of other contenders battle for the ICTSI Riviera Ladies Championship, which gets underway on Dec. 1, 2021 in Silang, Cavite.

Constantino, who has marked her maiden pro campaign with two victories, both at Eagle Ridge-Aoki, including one over Singson last month, will face Singson, one of the top amateurs in the country, in the 11:40 a.m. flight, bracing for a challenging day not just against the rising star but also the Langer course.

Singson has figured in the title race in the last three tournaments but came up short on each occasion, setbacks many believe have only toughened up the 18-year-old Davaoeña, who guns for another crack at the overall championship on top of her three straight low amateur honors.

Joining them is the comebacking Gretchen Villacencio.

Avaricio, on the other hand, exudes confidence as she is set to launch her drive for another Ladies Philippine Golf Tour plum against Apple Fudolin and amateur Anna Fernandez at 12 noon with forecast of cloudy skies with chances of rain in the afternoon.

Coming off a rousing seven-stroke romp over Chihiro Ikeda and Constantino at the nearby Couples course last week that snapped a two-year search for a title in the Pilipinas Golf Tournaments Inc.-organized circuit, the former Alabama State U top player has the momentum and motivation going for her in the 54-hole championship.

But it will not only be about the swing shift as the par-71 layout remains a risk-reward course set up to punish even the slightest of mistakes.

That gives the rest of the 19-player cast equal chances with Sunshine Baraquiel, who recently scored a breakthrough at Tagaytay Highlands in windy play, hoping to emerge on top under the same conditions. She will start at 11:30 a.m. in the company of Majorie Pulumbarit and Daniella Uy, both chasing their first LPGT crown.

Meanwhile, the touring ladies will take a break next week and will head back to Tagaytay for the season-ending event, the ICTSI Midlands Classic, slated Dec. 14-16, which Ikeda ruled via playoff over Pauline del Rosario in 2019.