The pressure to deliver for a record run doesn’t bother Harmie Constantino a bit but the back-to-back winner at Luisita and Villamor has underscored the need for consistency as she tries to make it three-in-a row in the ICTSI Valley Golf Challenge, which gets under way today (Tuesday) in Antipolo.
“I don’t think there’s pressure,” said Constantino on the eve of the P750,000 event at the Valley Golf South where she placed a distant third in last year’s staging of the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour event topped by amateur Rianne Malixi.
“I just want to play well and I’m confident to know that I can produce good rounds. I just need to play consistently,” added the former national champion who has racked up six victories in a two-year pro career.
But a souped-up field is out to halt her streak, including last year’s runner-up Chihiro Ikeda, who also placed second to Constantino in the inaugural ICTSI Villamor Philippine Ladies Masters two weeks ago, and Daniella Uy, who is mounting a personal battle after squandering a couple of shots at the crown with late miscues at Luisita and Villamor.
A talented cast of amateurs is also fancied to mix up title chase with Lois Kaye Go and Mikha Fortuna joining Mafy Singson and Koreans Minyeong Kim, Jiwon Lee and Eunhua Nam in the hunt in the 54-hole tournament put up by ICTSI that also features jungolfers Levone Talion and Rafa Anciano.
While Singson has annexed a maiden pro win at Splendido Taal last year, the Cebu-based Go is gunning for her first although she missed her chance at Hallow Ridge last year while Fortuna expects to figure prominently, this being her pro qualifying tournament.
Meanwhile, Sarah Ababa, with a string of Top 5 finishes in the first five legs, including a runner-up effort in Bacolod, launches her own drive for a second LPGT win while going flat-out for a first victory are Florence Bisera, Pamela Mariano, Gretchen Villacencio, Lesley Icoy and Martina Miñoza.
Completing the 25-player field are Sheryl Villasencio, Lovelynn Guioguio, Lucy Landicho, Eva Miñoza, Apple Fudolin, Monica Mandario, Rev Alcantara and Korean Juyoung Yang.
Still, Constantino remains the marked player and she is keen on producing another stellar play on an up-and-down course which puts accent on ball control and accuracy given its narrow fairways and hazards.
“I think my short game and putting will help me a lot this week, especially Valley South is a tight course. I think it will be fun,” said Constantino, who marked her pro debut with two victories at Eagle Ridge, both in Aoki, then swept the last two legs of last year’s circuit at Pradera Verde and in the inaugural Villamor Match Play Invitational.