Manila Southwoods-Masters, the most dominant force in Philippine Airlines (PAL) Ladies Interclub history, shoots to extend its unprecedented reign in the centerpiece Championship Division to a sixth straight year next month when the 11th edition tees off at up-and-down Camp John Hay in Baguio.
The Carmona-based parbusters will be fielding in a rock-solid squad and will be leaving nothing to chance, with a slew of young international campaigners led by Pauline del Rosario and Sofia Chabon taking the cudgels for the team in the absence of Abby Arevalo
Arevalo, who won the individual championship in Bacolod last year and powered Southwoods-Masters to a one-point victory over Cebu Country Club on the strength of a tournament-best four-under-par 68 at Marapara, is in the United States on a golf scholarship with San Jose State University.
But that doesn’t mean that SW-Masters will be lacking in talent, with Mikhaela Fortuna also in roster for the four-to-play, three-to-count event spread from Oct. 4-7.
Cebu CC will also be without its top gun last year, Lois Kaye Go, who is also studying in the US as the club pins its hopes on sisters Irina and Junia Gabasa and Riko and Ryoko Nagai.
Del Rosario looms as top favorite in the individual race, with her talent and skill level ripe for a stint in the pros despite being a teener.
Last week, Del Rosario narrowly lost in a four-player playoff for the ICTSI Ladies Sherwood Hills Challenge won by Princess Superal, a former teammate in the Philippine Team who won her debut as a pro.
Del Monte, another perennial contender for the title, will be fielding in a relatively unknown team even as a total of 32 teams, counting three international sides, will be seeing action in four total divisions including the Founders, Sportswriters and Friendship brackets.
Luzon will be represented by a total of 17 teams with the Lady Eagles of Australia fielding in two squads. Port Moresby will be the third international team.