New Pradera 9 ready for Ladies Challenge

Participants have many things to deal with in the second Pradera Verde Ladies Challenge beginning Monday (Jan. 15) in Lubao, Pampanga and not the least of them are the sand traps in the brand-new third nine of the sprawling Pradera Golf and Country Club.

With its length, bunkers and a new nine, the Pradera Golf and Country Club is ready to challenge the field clashing in the second Pradera Verde Ladies Challenge beginning Monday (Jan. 15) in Lubao, Pampanga.

Organizers said the brand-new third nine of the sprawling Pradera Golf and Country Club will provide a different kind of test for the competing cast especially if the wind come into play in all three days of the championship pitting the country’s leading jungolfers and amateurs against the top players from neighboring SEA countries in a Ryder Cup-style format event.

“The first nine is long but flat and will require long iron shots. The greens, however, are protected by bunkers,” said Mike Singgaran, designer of the gem of a layout which sits on the 700-hectare Pradera Verde in Barangay Prado Siongco.

Singgaran added that the third nine is relatively short, except for two holes, but the fairways have a lot of movement and the greens are a little bit smaller, thus giving premium to accuracy.

“The Nos. 4 and 8 are very long par-4s and most of the time, they play against the wind,” said Singgaran, who predicts a thrilling battle among the young and the veteran campaigners from both sides.

Yuka Saso and Harmie Constantino banner Team Philippines out to even things up with Team Southeast Asia, which dominated the host in last year’s inaugural staging of the event put up by Archen Cayabyab, Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab and coach Norman Sto. Domingo to help boost the country’s junior and amateur golf program.

Other members of Team Ph co-skippered by Sto. Domingo, Rolly Romero and Daisy Reyes are Nicole Abelar, Tomi Arejola, Sofia Chabon, Bernice Olivarez-Ilas, Mikha Fortuna, Kayla Nocum and Kristine Torralba and 13-year-olds Annyka Cayabyab and Laurea Duque.

But Team SEA, made up of the leading amateurs from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and handled by co-team captains Phunampa Pornperapan and Jantsonn Kan, is all primed up for another shot at the crown with Thais Kultida Pramphun, Onkanok Soisuwan and Pinkaew Trachentong tipped to lead their charge.

Also in the squad are Malaysian Winnie Ng, Ashley Lau, Audrey Tan and Zulaikah Nurzian, Indonesian Michela Tjan and 13-year-olds Pimkwan Chookaew and Phannarai Meesom-us of Thailand and Singapore’s Shannon Tan.

Organizes expect a spirited battle right from the opening round – a five-team duel under the Scramble format in the morning before play shifts to alternate shot in the afternoon. The two sides will play best ball in the second day then back to alternate shot format in the afternoon. The deciding singles (10 matches) will be held on Jan. 17 with the team to score 15.5 points to win the perpetual Pradera Verde Ladies trophy.