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2017 Taiwan LPGA Tour | ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters 7– 9 Dec Tournament Preview

The ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters, set to be played as the 15th of 16 legs on TLPGA Tour’s 2017 calendar, will kick off on Thursday at The Country Club in Laguna, Philippines. The US$80,000 event is co-organized by the TLPGA, the China LPGA (CLPGA) and the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour (LPGT), making it the very first three-way link-up in TLPGA Tour history. The TLPGA Tour and the LPGT have already put up a joint effort for the third straight year. This tournament is also the second to last event this year on the Philippine circuit.

The growth in TLPGA’s collaborative ventures creates substantial benefits of building a healthier tour structure and, critically, allowing members to have more playing opportunities abroad to hone their skills and increase global presence.

The LPGT has been striving to expand the circuit as well, growing the numbers and participation of the tournaments. From the inaugural year of the LPGT in 2013 when there were only six tournaments on the docket, to an eight-leg structure starting in 2014, the LPGT hosts now a double-digit eleven-stage format in the 2017 season. The ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services, Inc.) lends their continued supports as the title sponsor of the LPGT.

Starting Thursday, an international field of 99 players from the Philippines, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, and Taiwan will battle through a 54-hole stroke-play format in three days. The winner of the tournament on Saturday will receive a US$12,000 paycheck and the runner-up gets US$7,200.

Twenty-seven TLPGA campaigners will be led by a young crop of talents which include no.2 on the TLPGA Money List Chen Yu Ju (陳宇茹), who just finished equal-second in last week’s Kaohsiung Entrepreneur Association Ladies Open, no.2 on the Pacific Links International award race Lin Tzu Chi (林子麒), and Japan Tour player Hsieh Yu Ling (謝瑀玲). The CLPGA invasion brings top players Zhang Yunjie (張芸杰), Tao Juanjuan (陶娟娟), Zhou Jiayi (周佳怡), and Liu Yan (劉艷) setting their sights on the title of the richest event on the LPGT. Thailand’s Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng, winner of the 2017 Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open will also hope to fly the Thai flag and add a second TLPGA Tour title to her name.

Home expectations will fall on the shoulders of 16 local elites headed by Money Leader Pauline del Rosario, LPGT no.2 Ikeda Chihiro, Symetra Tour contestants Princess Superal and Cyna Rodriguez. 18-year-old del Rosario has been the most talked-about story on the Philippine tour. She racked up four victories in just six outings in her rookie season, and captured one additional victory overseas in Taiwan in September at the TLPGA & Royal Open. Rodriguez, a three-time LPGT Money Winner, will also be a major force to be reckoned with.

Twenty-four players tested the course on The Country Club, set at 6,303 yards long, one last time in Wednesday’s pro-am tournament, where they were paired with 72 amateurs and guests. First round action will begin tomorrow at 07:00 in the morning from the first and tenth tee. Final group will tee it up at 12:10. A cut will be made on Friday after 36 holes, sending only the top 60 and ties into the final 18.


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