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Fierce duel looms




The top golfing ladies from the country’s leading clubs take center stage beginning today as they slug it out for top honors in various divisions in the 2019 Champion Luzvimin Invitational golf tournament at Cebu Country Club in Cebu City.

Del Monte parades an intact roster for its title-retention drive but Manila Southwoods is brimming with confidence with a souped-up crew and the rest of the cast are all coming into the event ready to take on the best and emerge on top after 54 holes of the annual championship held under the Molave scoring format.

The Del Monte ladies dominated their Carmona-based rivals in the final round to reign at Taal Splendido last year, reclaiming the crown they won at Rancho Palos Verdes in 2016 with Class B individual winner spearheading their repeat bid in the premier Diamond division along with Martina Miñoza, Leslie Icoy, Kiara Montebon, Saraiah Rheaume and Maura Quijano.

But Southwoods is out for a payback, enlisting top amateur Laia Barro to anchor a talent-laden squad composed of Loralie Roberto, Claire Ong, Christine Naidoo, Claudine Garcia and Deanna Samaniego.

But the rest of the 10-team field in the centerpiece category, including five new squads, are also upbeat of their respective chances, particularly the hosts, made up of Riko Nagai, Crystal Neri, Mary Kim Hong, Catrina Martinez, Jyra Wong and Jeanette Chiu.

Rancho Palos Verdes, meanwhile, will be led by Charilyn Kayama, Victoria Tan, Myung Seon Park, Stella Patruno, Lilibet Crisologo and Mereane Siason while former Del Monte ace Pamela Mariano will now anchor Pueblo de Oro’s bid along with Juliane Borlongan, Alethea Gaccion, Marife Carmichael, Gladys Opitz and Jennifer Chua.

Fierce action is also seen in individual play in all four divisions, including the Emerald, Ruby and Pearl categories.